Grow a sunflower house for the kids to play in. // 31 Cheap And Easy Backyard Ideas That Are Borderline Genius
Baking soda neutralizes the ph in the soil and nothing will grow there. use baking soda around all of the edges of flower beds to keep the grass and weeds from growing into beds. Just sprinkle it onto the soil so that it covers it lightly. Do this twice a year - spring and fall
The tip is to design the garden to be a real showstopper, with pretty solar lights, urn centerpiece, and a bench. But what I see is a perfect garden for a back yard that has "gone to the dogs" - let them romp around the outside of it while your veggies grow undisturbed.