Design ideas: French drain + back gate access
Hi everyone! I have a landscape dilemma for which I need some suggestions.
I live in a townhouse middle unit, with slightly higher ground on the left and slightly lower in the right. When it rains heavily, my French drain fills with water, sometimes slightly flooding my cement patio (but not getting all the way to the house). This convinces me that I need to keep the French drain (thoughts?)
The main part of my yard has tree bark mulch for ground cover, filled with two very large trees and some shrubbery. It is mostly for looks as it is sloped. My dog also uses it to explore and go potty (which knocks the mulch to fall into the French drain).
Also, right now to get to the back gate (at back left) we have to walk through the French drain and uphill on the mulch, which is awkward. I would love to install some pavers on the mulch part of the yard but I am afraid they would just sink into the ground, and plus that would not solve walking through the French drain.
Does anyone have some suggestions that would enable me to:
1. Keep the French drain (or something that works similarly)
2. Have easy access to the back gate
3. Make this yard look better!
Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of backyard