Gravel around the foundation for drainage, plant shrubs along to help soak up water. Like the idea of the large rock to prevent erosion from the water spicket. Maybe a few cool pots or barrels with plants too? I like :) side yard idea!
kilwirra: Carlingford, Templetown, The Breakers Greek Garden- stone paving and terracotta pitcher (this is a very nice area of interest but not one that is easy to walk on, but then it doesn't seem to be designed for that either)