What to do with 'business' back yard
By "business" I mean it's more a work area than a play area. Our play area is the large side yard, and while it may not win any design awards, I'm mostly happy with that for now.
My problem is the back yard. The back door leads out onto a field of weeds at the moment. The area has our clothesline (this can be moved, but I must have one, we don't own a dryer). 4 fruit trees, compost bins, garbage/recycle bins, raised garden beds and gravel driveway.
here's a diagram
We don't want to build any structures as it'll block the view of our city's Tower of the Americas (and our main fireworks viewing site). We already have a small "patio" in the side yard, though I'd like some sort of sitting area, preferably around my kiddie pool/herb garden. Also, we need a place to BBQ. Most importantly, we need some kind of path to the driveway so we're not walking through wet grass.
I did ok with envisioning the rest of the yard, but this area just hits a mindblock, probably because I'm afraid to invest $ into hardscaping until I'm really sure what I'll do.
Permanent structures: garage, 4 trees, driveway. Everything else *could* move.
We can't afford to hire a landscape architect, and until now I've had fun coming up with ideas for what was a 1/2 overgrown jungle. But now I'm stuck.
I'm in Zone 8b. Hot, dry summers with some humidity. Lots of problem with drought. Occasional freezes in winter but not usually (except last year). Full sun in summer means 90F+ (last summer, 60+ days over 100F). This area mostly gets full sun.
and I apologize this is upside down (bottom is north). I did it as I look at it, and only after realized it was the wrong orientation.
Here is a link that might be useful: backyard pictures