I was gifted via freecycle about 120 used bricks

and today, about 250 pounds (15 bags) of wood chip mulch. I have a million places I can put it…hence my dilemma, looking for the best bang for my buck so to speak, given the following factors:

1. We rent, so I can’t have anything permanent-permanent.
2. We are south facing, which means the best part of my yard is the front yard (the back yard is in shadow until noon except for some specific areas.
3. We live in southern California, which means other than Dec & Jan, we can grow year round.
4. I have two great front yard garden patch areas: #1 gets great sun in the morning then due to the overhang of the house, is in shade, #2 gets sun all day long, but picks up every grass and weed seed in the world. (in short, it’s a pain.)
5. I already used up 4 bags in area #1 which is 2 feet by 14 feet.

Do I:
a. build 4×4 planter boxes on the cement patio which gets direct sun for about 90% of the day. Means I have to lay down some regular soil first (= $) and may likely use up my entire pile of bricks just for 1 planter.

b. Rip up a 2 foot by 22 foot grass area along my north fence. It’s on a slight slope, so I’ll have to buy some 2″x12″s and stake them into the ground (vs using the brick and making sure it’s level etc.), then lay the mulch in that. 2x12s won’t cost much, I won’t have to use up my bricks. This area gets sun 100% of the day, or very close to it.

c. Weed out my front yard garden #2, lay down newspaper to help kill the weeds coming up, then hope like heck the new mulch does a better job of keeping the weeds down than my current yucky soil does.

Of course, the advantage to doing something in the back yard is no one is around to see it & steal it. The advantage to the front yard is the hose is right there, and I see it, so I actually get around to doing something with it.

Any thoughts/ideas appreciated.