How to fix this yard?
I'll have to try to get some pictures, but here are the issues with our yard:
* Foreclosure property that was not well cared for. In fact, leaves were not removed for six years, neighbor told me.
* Someone dumped grey stones on each side of the driveway and into the back yard. That probably WAS the driveway at one point, actually.
* Very uneven backyard -- big slope from one end to the other, plus ditch-type areas in the grass.
* Bamboo forest in the back part of the backyard that has been chopped down but the roots are still there.
* Lots of trees = shade.
* Sparse grass, with a few large round patches of bare dirt.
* Now that we removed 100-plus bags of leaves, weeds are shooting up in the bare spots and under a stand of trees on one side of the house.
* Ugly concrete patio -- I want to cover it in slate at some point.
Besides this, I love the house. ;)
I consider the front yard more urgent and less difficult -- put down some grass seed (minimal success so far), but guess I have to go and pick out all the darned stones. Planning to plant some groundcover in the newly uncovered area under trees before weeds take over totally. Will have to weed as it is. Apparently the soil is pretty rich after all those years of leaves composting on it.
Back yard ... help? Just doze it out and start over? (And how do you not kill trees in the process -- there are a lot around the edges of the yard, plus one peach tree in the middle that I don't want to kill.) Is this something a pair of homeowners can do on their own? Is this something that should be done in spring, or can it be done in summer or fall? If we need professional help, what should we expect in terms of cost (high COL area, basic job without extra landscaping)?