Creating a plan for my backyard--where to begin?
I posted a couple weeks ago about developing an area under a co-dominant tree in my backyard and got some great advice. Upon reading your responses however, I realized that I'm utterly clueless about forming a design for my backyard and also that I need a master plan before starting in on any one area...(duh!)
I'm pretty new to gardening and would love some pointers on where to begin in turning my ugly lot into a place I can really enjoy.
Here is a pic from the back of the house for your viewing (un)pleasure:
The area is about 45' across and at least 150' in length, I believe. Please excuse the dead leaves and tree limbs. The yard was really overgrown when I moved in 2 years ago and had even more dead material piled up than seen here. Also, the fence in the back belongs to the neighbor and he won't fix the sagging or missing parts (I've asked.) You can see the 2x6 boards the previous occupant of my home tacked on to reinforce it.
In a perfect world, I would hire a pro take out those trees and formulate a sketch for future plantings, hardscape, etc. Unfortunately, I'm a student and don't have the immediate funds to do this as of yet.
Barring the removal of the trees, what should I do? Where do I begin in developing a plan for this mess?
Some pertinent info:
--I'm in zone 7
--the soil is mostly heavy clay
--there's a storm drain located in the neighbor's yard adjacent to the back left corner of mine
--I have a dog
Thanks for reading! :)