Side yard idea -- concrete chunks stained with iron sulfate - this is worth looking into for patio and walkways. it LOOKS like flagstones, but is really ripped out concrete, FREE material. Used for building raised beds as well.
Plants have best friends just like people do. Marigolds help tomatoes and roses grow better. Nasturtiums keep bugs away from squash and broccoli. Petunias protect beans from beetles and oregano chases them away from cucumbers. Geraniums keep Japanese beet