A win-win scenario: A family a half mile away from our house is going to replace their deck with a patio this fall. They offered the river rock under their deck to anyone who could use it, free. Today, we started taking it away and spreading it over weed control fabric under and around our screened porch.
Soon, we'll put down some sod to define the site perimeter and blend it into the neighboring lawns. The interior of our property will be low-water, no-mow fescues combined with various shrubs and ground covers.