Side Yard Help
I have a "forgotten" side yard on the west side my property, approx. 10' wide x 36' long. My 2 story house is on one side, and a 4' chain link fence is on the other side. The neighbor's house is only about 5' from the chain link fence. The previous owner had the property professionally landscaped, and it's beautiful! The problem is, they didn't do anything with this side yard. It is dirt, weeds, moss and wild onions, the bane of my existence. There is also a bridal wreath spirea (out of control), 3 forsythia (also out of control, although I did a pretty severe prune after they flowered this year), a japanese holly, an azalea, and one other mystery shrub I haven't identified yet - it is very mish-mashy looking. I am really tempted to take out the forsythia, and prune the spirea to make it a more manageable size. Then I'd like to make a curving flagstone path down the middle and plant perennials on either side of it. BUT my husband doesn't see the point, since you don't really see the side yard from the house (there are only 2 windows on that side), and the only time we use it is to go between front and back yards. He is also reluctant to get rid of the forsythia as it does provide a little bit of a screen between our house and the neighbor's house, which you see out the window in our family room.
I guess I'm just having a hard time since the rest of the property is so pretty, to have this ugly, weedy area. Also, my 2 year old is determined to go on that side all the time, and it is pretty muddy and congested with the spirea/forsythia tangle.
What do you think? Is there a compromise? Is there a reasonable, affordable way to deal with this area? We are willing to do the work ourselves, just don't want it to cost thousands.
Any ideas are greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!