Inspiration: Small Backyards

Ever since we moved into our new home last June, the area of the house that needed the most work has been the backyard. Last summer I repainted the deck which definitely helped, but the yard itself is a little out of control. The deck takes up a large majority of the yard, and the other largest portion has two big trees that have high, raised roots. Therefore it is quite shady, covered in pine needles, and not much can grow in the roots. Basically, it is nearly impossible for me to figure out how to landscape it!

I've been working on cleaning it up in the last month, but I still really don't know what to replant. Right now it is basically dry brown dirt and pine needles, which I hate. I'm hoping to get some inspiration and come up with a plan soon!