Start by taking a careful look at your property and its immediate surroundings. Is your site sunny or shady? Is the soil heavy and poorly drained, or sandy and overly porous? Are there any views that you would like to screen or highlight? Is your property exposed to prevailing winds? Taking the time to do this properly will help you to make the right choices.
Measure your property and draw up a list of all existing features. Transfer all these details to a scale drawing. Mark its orientation and the direction of prevailing winds. Cover your sheet with tracing paper and sketch your landscaping plan onto that. Finish up by taking a few photographs of your property from different angles. You can cover these photos with tracing paper and sketch an elevation plan of your new landscaping onto that, as well.