We went through several design possibilities until we landed on this drawing:
Carport, horizontal privacy fence, gravel play yard, water feature, concrete block planter wall, and, most importantly, better use of the space. After a weeks of contacting contractors, getting bids, and coordinating the timing of the project work finally began. And now we open our doors to this(!!!):
We've still got landscaping to do, and a water feature to install, but we couldn't be happier with the transformation of our backyard!