When we bought our house ten years ago, the backyard, as you can see, was a mess of evil foliage.
One day a group of men in orange vests, holding maps and cutting tools came to our door looking for a lost manhole. Hmm..."I haven't seen it, but you can look around." I said. They brought larger cutting tools, with my permission, of course, and trimmed the overgrown pyracantha tree, and sure enough, they found the missing manhole. It was way at the bottom of our sloping yard, just out of view in the picture above and leads to a storm drain. The men in the orange vests don't come very often to the manhole at the bottom of our yard, but I try to keep it free of dirt and invading plants.
A couple of years ago I added the bricks and decided that this could be a nice sitting area with a nice manhole floor,( when men are not climbing in and out of it. ) I recently cleared away a mass of ivy and am building a little retaining wall from rocks and concrete chunks found in the yard. You wouldn't believe some of the things we find in this yard, but that's for another post on another day.
Here is a picture of the upper part of the yard today. Not perfect, but much, much, much better.