My yard and garden are a mess, need some major help
I am in NW Burbs of Chicago. We just bought a home on a very wooded lot, in winter, so we had no clue what the lawn looked like. There is plenty of shade, and unfortunately, no grass below that shade. I wanted to plant English Ivy as a ground cover, but started reading not so pleasant things about that particular plant. I also have a ton of Trout Lily taking over my front lawn as well as Trillium. I do not care for either, so I have posted on Craigslist and have takers already..
My question is: What can I use as a pretty groundcover that will be easy to maintain?
Also-there is a huge flower bed in the front yard that is exploding, but again, I have no identification except tulips and hostas, but there are many other plants there that look like they belong in the woods. I don't know what is what and half of them look like weeds, so I want to just rip half of it out!
There is also a grapevine in the back. Are most grapes in this area eatable, or more for wine making?
Obviously, I am a newbie. First house, first time dealing with a lawn, etc. When we bought the house I dreamed of a gorgeous lawn with beautiful flowerbeds and pretty smelling flowers everwhere.
I apologize in advance if this is too much to follow. I just can't afford to hire a landscaper to come here and tell me what I have and what to keep. I want to learn, and I want to be able to do it the right way.
ETA- I would be more than happy to post pictures first thing tomorrow morning.