Eddie, if you get the lighting right, your pics will improve a LOT. Ever tried natural light? A clouded sky gives perfect light, and then your photos will not have any of those "flares" (reflections). You can also use sunlight, as long as your model is indirectly iluminated (that's how I have been doing all my latest shots in my bathroom studio).
Eddie, I am a sucker for scenic backgrounds myself. Used to have the same flare up problems till I began using the techniques Lu has suggested. You could also try with some material to simulate the ground. I hav used a green bath towel to simulate grass. I have a few pics with the background poster which is a huge 8' x 6' poster in our living room. With the right lighting it works wonders sometimes.
With the poster in the study.
Thanks for the tips guys. I will try some of them. I am reluctant to take them outside as this is not the best neighborhood. Im also wondering how you use the background and base outside? The flare on the background is actually from one of the kitchen windows. . .