Posted: 17/01/2015 at 20:27
Gosh, that's a big space! Do you know how the former owner dealt with keeping the grass under control? If they had - say - a ride-on mower - could you perhaps buy it from them?
If you don't keep the grass relatively short right from the start, any planting in the future will be much more difficult for you to tackle, so I'd suggest that you seriously consider how to cope with this aspect of things right now. It may be possible for you to use the services of a local (professional) gardener to deal with this on a regular basis for you, but it's worth thinking about all the costs and time involved. Some of the "gardening" businesses round here have large machinery, but not all of them do. Mowing that area would take you so long that other things would have to take a bit of a back seat! On the other hand, a ride-on mower is probably one of the best "boys' toys" any gardener could have!
Maybe now's the time for you to visit your local library and look at some books which might be helpful. I've found this quite useful in the past, when I've found a book I liked and then found a way to get hold of a copy for myself via a website. You could look and see if there are any gardens which have elements which you too would like,and could copy, and taking photos when you visit gardens helps too.
There's no "quick fix" to any of this (unless of course you've got this week's winning lottery ticket) so I believe the best way forward is to keep things under control and looking tidy whilst you decide what to change. Creating a series of spaces is something most of us would love to be able to do, and you've got the opportunity to do that here.
One of the other things you'd need to consider is the boundaries, and who is responsible for their maintenance. It's not likely that you'd "own" all of them, so how they're managed/controlled is something you'll have to bear in mind as well.
Good luck, and perhaps you'll let us know what you decide to do!