Before planting anything, talk to some of the local nurseries or those in your area with particularly beautiful landscapes and learn as much as you can about the soil conditions and what type of plants and grass do best. If you are new to the area, be sure to also ask about the weather and light throughout the year. Knowing this will help you choose plants that will be successful.
Take some time to sketch out any ideas you may have your yard. Be sure to indicate areas for trees, hedges, flower gardens and edges. Often, local nurseries have people who can come to your residence and help you plan this out.
Plan on planting trees and shrubs that require minimal maintenance, but will grow and flourish for years. Be sure there are some shade trees included in your selection! After all, no residential landscape should be without shaded areas where one can sit outside and just relax.
Select flowers and trees that are native to your area. Plant these items in their sun preferred area and you will find that little to no work will be required for them to look fabulous.
Rather than trying to maintain numerous gardens and landscaped areas at once, start small. Choose 1 or 2 key areas to focus on. In subsequent years you can add more areas, just be sure to know your time limits, and plant accordingly.
Plant similar types of plants together. Not will this look great, but it will be easier to maintain.
Use borders and walkways to add interest as well as keep grass from creeping into the garden areas.