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I've got an 1901 victorian home located in the heart of the Central Valley in California with a large back yard that's 90' wide by 110' deep. I've got neighbors on one side and ideally put in some kind of privacy hedge.

It's a bare yard, except for a carriage barn,, now because I removed over 3,000 of a 25 yr old bamboo grove.

I've also got dogs.

Photos of yard to follow once fog lifts.
 

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Interesting project. Bamboo! I hope your removal was removal, and does not end up as a pruning with the bamboo taking over again. Of course, a bamboo forest could be an asset.

My suggestion is to take that large space and treat it like a habitat with different rooms. Make it so you do not see all the attractions in the space from any single point of view. Forget lawn. Make serpentine pathways that entice one to go further. If the bamboo does return, box it in so it does not spread again.

The more complex, the more the dogs will love it.
Gary
 

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Thanks for the photos. I was brainstorming ideas and here is what I would do but it will be based on your budget and own likes. I would recommend painting all of your fencing white or taupe. I know that's a lot of work but its a relative low cost to replacing all your fencing. I would plant either evergreen trees or boxwood bushes along the fence lines. I then would make some type of patio along the back of your home with large pavers or stone. The metal buildings I think you can restore without replacing by sanding the metal smooth and several coats of rust oleum paint. Far as plants go, I would build some planters and put different colors, heights and textures of greenery and plants. Finally throw down some grass seed and see if that takes before investing in sod pieces. :)
 

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Hello Butterkups - I suggest you get on the internet and look up images for "dog-friendly yards". I am beginning an almost identical project only in Wyoming and while my yard is in a little better shape than yours, I still have much of the same concerns. I found a lot of great visuals of yards that have helped me plan. If you haven't gone to Blondesense's link, do it. That was VERY helpful to me. Also, Sunset Magazine (on line) has dog-friendly yard ideas too. Would love to see photos as you progress!
 
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