backyard patio design help?!! with pics
i need help designing a new patio/seating area in my back yard. this is a 12 x 13 rectangle between my back door and an addition on the house. most of it is in heavy shade, except for a bit by the house, and the ground is all tree roots--nothing grows, not even weeds--with a small patch of sunken, uneven old stone patio. the border of it, by the house, was previously home to 7 (!) giant, out of control yews, which we chopped down to about 1 foot.
behind this space is a concrete pad patio, which is also sunken and uneven with terrible drainage. the whole area is continually littered with twigs, leaves etc, from surrounding trees.
my fantasy is to turn this spot into a seating/barbecue area, since it abuts the back, kitchen door. It would be great to get rid of everything that's there and start anew but that's out of the budget, as is wood decking on top of it.:( The kinds of things that *are* in the budget might be adding some edging, filling in with crushed stone and flagstones, or making new plantings, or putting in raised beds, e.g. But i'm really stumped as to how to lay it out and what to do about the chopped down yews, and the old concrete pad, and the old stone patio that's already there. Any suggestions are much appreciated.
the steps in the foreground lead up to a sunroom; the steps in the background lead to the kitchen. the structure on the right hand side is the detached garage.
here's the concrete pad, in the foreground, with the grill, table, etc on it. there's a picnic table there too. the pad is sunken and stained!
view from the kitchen doorstep. here are the chopped down yews. you can see the ground is all rutted and full of roots.
Many thanks in advance!