I just moved into my house and my backyard is a mud/grass patch. I'm looking for ideas/help designing a great space for my 2 largeish dogs and garden area (without taking up too much yard for resale value down the road). I have stones to also do a circular firepit. My backyard faces West and in the summer (Indiana) it can get quite hot, with no shade in the back. I currently have some wildflower seedlings started and will soon be starting some vegetables inside.
***Additional note- I'm a single gal watching her budget, so I plan on doing everything myself. I have a pickup truck, so I'm ready to go pick up a truck bed of rock for a path or whatnot). I also know that grass growing is a priority for me this spring.
-How would you spruce up the dog door area? I'm considering doing some sort of dog run/small fenced in area, so that they can go out during the day and not get muddy)
-Where would you place trees so that the garden doesn't lose all of the sun. Any low-maintenance tree recommendations (I don't want to be picking up gumballs/walnuts/etc.)
-What would you recommend for privacy with the neighbors right next door?
-How/where would you set up a garden or raised beds? I LOVE sunflower and would love to place them around. I also want to do a path of some sort from the gate to the patio, possibly getting a rain barrel for the gutter due to drainage issues and sustainability.
Any ideas are welcome and appreciated!