Yes, I am very happy to be retired! It is really great. I have a lot of help in the gardens. DH does almost all of the physical stuff. And of course I am the brains! LOL sorry, I just had to say that... I still do work hard out there (as far as I am able) but he is MUCH more physically fit than I am... And I suffer a lot when I spend a few hours out there.
The dark leaves with the Dahlias are Hibiscus acetosella. The bushes are trying to bloom before it freezes, but I am not sure they will make it. They put way too much energy into growth! I almost fell over laughing when I went around the corner of the house and saw them. I had not been out in the yard for a good while as it was soooo hot. Well those bushes had not been 2 ft tall the last time I saw them, and they were reaching up to the roof and spilling out on the lawn. I took a pic the other day, and I call it "The Blob." I don't know if you have ever heard or an old horror movie by that title or not but the pic looks like the Blob is eating my house!