Here's the progress so far...
We've been in waiting mode for the concrete to get poured for the patio, in anticipation of the permit getting approved. So all this is the prep work/basis for everything so that now they can start putting the patio and other touches in.
This is the long view of the rear of the house, taken from the side where the pool will get put in next year. The curved border thing is the edge of our patio. Everything that runs along the fence will be barked/planted. As you can see, they've done as much of the gravel base as they can before getting to the next stage of the patio.
A reverse angle of the back.
This is a closer view on what will be the patio. It's going to be a variegated terra cotta color with a seashell/curvy type of layout, rather than squares.
A reverse angle from the rear retaining wall toward the house. That circular thing you see there is the foundation of Craig's firepit.
And that's part of the trench that's been in the back yard since they started, with the new gas line in it.
The other side of the house, leading to the garage and gate to the driveway. That blocky area of dirt next to the fence is getting a concrete pallet for Craig's shed.
A reverse angle of the far side of the house. The section to the right (where they're currently throwing rubbish, lol) will be a flower bed of azaleas, camellias, and...something else Craig picked out I can't remember. That's the shadiest part of the entire garden, so we were limited to what can go there. On the left side will be my vegetable garden. The three raised beds are already marked out, and you can see the pipes for the drip system already in place.