Posted: 30/11/2014 at 20:28
Hello 9austin. Sounds like an exciting project ahead of you. Do you want to get rid of the grass or just improve it? If you do want to get rid of it I'd suggest doing it now, or when the ground is still soft, as its a tough job and doing it when the ground is hard and dry will be really tough going. We hired a grass removing machine when we did some of ours but it was still hard work.
Know what you mean about ivy. It's great coverage but can be very intrusive. You could put up some trellis and grow some climbers. Maybe a rose or a clematis. If you like a bit of colour in winter, a winter flowering jasmine would be nice. Or you could try growing fruit against the wall. Can't remember what the method is but am sure one of the other members will be able to. It's when you span fruit trees by training them across wires. A wisteria might be nice too.
if I were you though I'd start by writing a long list to Santa including a sharp spade, a good fork, some secateurs and some donkey plonk to work into your soil. I'd also suggest visiting your local garden centre for a few plant ideas.
good luck with it!