When we bought this old house three summers ago, the backyard was a nightmare. I remember standing on the back porch with the realtor and saying, "Wow, this could be beautiful." She looked at me as if I were out of my mind. ;-)
The side yard before shot. The old retaining wall and fence sat at least 2 feet onto our neighbor's property. They are grand folks, and would never make an issue of it, but it was clear that any new fencing/walls needed to correct it
The view of the backyard from the south side of the house. And it is already missing the very, very sad 'privacy fence'--a failing wooden mess that our lab found himself running right through when chasing a ball!
There had been some attempt to deal with the slope. The timbers were quite well rotted and collapsing in places.
Gate from side yard with upcycled (what a nice way to say we hauled concrete rubble from the dump) pathway. There was a gate of sorts here, but nothing more than a muddy path.
Flagstone stepping stones lead to a lower patio. Steps take you to the upper patio and the back porch.