We have decided to entirely redo our backyard. We moved into this house in March of this year and the backyard is not very child friendly, it has not been maintained over the last three years, and is only filled with non-flowering (mostly trees) plants.
We started by getting a design done by some gardening center here that was advertising for 50 euros. This was the basis from which our backyard will eventually be redone. Call it a baseline, but with a few additions and subtractions to make it just how we want it.
Today they came in to remove the old trees, plants, and overgrown fence that was our backyard. As you can see from the photo, the before is like living in the forest. My daughter (3 years) would be biking around the trees on the path and be thrown into the shrubs by the tree roots pushing up the bricking. My son, 18 months and just walking, would be falling down on each brick that was sticking up.
You can see that there is a lot of wasted space filled only with large bushy plants. What you don't see is the creeping vines from the left hand fence that have grown up through the trees and are sticking out off the top, over 15 meters in the air.
I can't wait to see what it looks like after I get home from work tomorrow and they have cleaned it all out!