The new stone terrace, path, gate and trellis are due to get started this Friday, so I've moved some pots, the table and chairs, and a few plants in preparation. Here what we're starting with (note that the concrete slab was likely installed circa 1962, the same age as the house, or soon thereafter).
View from the back door
From the oak tree garden
Looking into the garden
Through the gate
The new plan will widen the gate, make a stone terrace where there is now straggly grass, add a stone path to the driveway, raise up the narrow bed by the house with a stone wall along it, and add an 8' x 8' trellis to screen the neighbors (that's where the climbing hydrangea comes in). Let's hope it turns out as well as the plan suggests.