In creating a landscape plan, first consider what you want and need. Do you want an outdoor eating area, a place for grilling, spaces for kids to play, a pool and a patio, or a secluded spot for reading? Privacy or an open view? A straight driveway or one that's rerouted? A small kitchen garden next to the back door or a cutting garden out near the potting shed?
Once you've got your wish list, make a plan. This is the first step in marrying what you want with what you have. If you've got a survey map, start with that. (If you don't have one, you may need to commission one for large building projects, such as a property-line fence.) Or use graph paper to draw an outline of your house and lot to scale. Overlay it with tracing paper and add items on your wish list. Sketching out your ideal plan will help refine your vision, whether you're designing on your own or working with a professional.