This was our big gardening project this spring. The area had several big pieces of flagstone with rock in between. The grade was also about a foot off and made the last step off the deck dangerous for Inch Worm.
We started by removing all the rock and then removing the plastic underneath all the rock. Then we dug out the path area and filled it in with a base of rock, gravel and then sand and made it all level. We reused the flagstone and also borrowed some pieces from the pond (another future project). It was a jigsaw puzzle to fit all the flagstone together, but in the end they all fit well.
Next two bags of peet moss was worked into the clay soil and in went the plants. On the left hand side it gets morning sun and then shade, so fern bleeding heart, bell flowers, hostas, hydrangea and existing cle toad lilies fit the bill. On the right is full sun, which eventually will be an herb garden, but for the first year I dumped all my winter sowed annuals there. I am very happy with the way it turned out and it is so much safer for little Inch Worm.
Here the plants have filled in a bit.