The front yard of my northern New Mexico house (zone 7a) is horrible. It consists of rocks and dirt with Tribulus Terrestris weeds growing in the dirt and between the rocks. Below that is a layer of black plastic. Below that is more rocks and dirt, and finally more black plastic. Two layers of each! I have to assume that what happened was that multiple previous homeowners decided to start over by covering the existing yard with plastic and rocks, but then proceeded to neglect it and let weeds grow as dust and dirt got blown between the rocks.
I can't really grow much due to the multiple layers of plastic and rocks. There's practically no soil; just enough for Tribulus Terrestris weeds, apparently. By this point there are literally millions of their spiky seedpods between the rocks.
Digging through and removing enough of the rocks to plant anything is agonizingly difficult. And the whole yard looks awful. I'm considering hiring someone to remove the top three inches or so and just start over from scratch, and then planting some low-water-use groundcover like purslane or blue grama grass. Do I have any better options?