We have added so much structure to the back yard that there is really not a lot of "yard" left. We opted for outdoor living space, vs open space, in the back yard since that is where we have a modicum of privacy (including a full concrete-block wall).
Between the dining pavilion and the grill area is this little alley:
It's just enough space to comfortably pass between the structures from the studio or driveway to the back walk-out.
The ficus trees were my first garden destination. This is my second:
The Chinese pottery bowl and glass top used to be a side table in the apartment. The large "terra cotta" (plastic) container used to have a ficus tree in it. All of these plants, and the other containers, are new.
The maidenhair ferns originally went in white ceramic bowls, but I was lazy and did not drill drain holes first, so they were drowning. Since more greenery was needed in front of Mu-shu (the dragon), I made a raised bed with rocks and brick salvaged from the remodel and lined with burlap. The ferns already look happier here.
The palm and the money tree should be good in those containers for quite a while. The peace lily, if it prospers, will need to be divided at some point. And there is a fair chance another fern or two will join the party.