Assess Your Landscaping Needs: Start by analyzing your current situation. Over the course of a year make a list of the things you like; shade, flowers, a favorite tree or view. Also, note things you don't like; bad views, poorly placed plants, drainage or slope problems.
Weigh Your Family's Needs: All landscape improvements should fulfill a specific need. Do not add anything to your landscape that does not solve a problem or highlight a favorable feature. Are there certain activities that your family enjoys? Keep these in mind when designing your new garden.
Gather Ideas: There is nothing wrong with borrowing ideas from other yards. Make notes about plants you like, textures, colors or other design elements you see. Browse through garden design books, the internet, or clip photos from magazines.
Professional Help: Throughout this process, consider whether you can accomplish your landscaping goals yourself. Professional landscapers and landscape designers can help you with part, or all, of your landscape plan.