In the UK we don't use "yard" in this sense. If you say "yard" to a brit they will likely think you are talking about a distance of apx. 90cm.
An industrial area might have a yard, c.f. a "breakers yard" or a "railway yard", although I think this is an americanism. However a british house never has a "yard" it always has a "garden". The word you are suggesting is more like "(ornamental) gardens".
Yanks will talk about their house's "front yard" we say "front garden". It is a "garden" irrespective of whether it has any plants at all, you can have paved or decked it entirely and its still a "garden"
If a house can have a "piha" (and one of the other example sentences does) it would be correct to translate it as "garden"
A translation can never be perfect but either yard or garden should be acceptable.