I have exactly the same situation going on in my backyard. We moved in the winter and are just dealing with the shamefully neglected garden this year. But there are some real gems and hopefully we will have the stray cat issue (there are 7 living in the back yard) sorted out by next summer and be able to properly enjoy our yard instead of the occasional forays.
Tasneem, you are going to enjoy your garden! It really is the best!