Study Your Site
Study your site for sun, shade and soil conditions. Begin with the most functional outdoor spaces near the house, such as areas for eating, cooking, sitting and reading. Think carefully about where you will want/need to have walkways. Ideally, your garden should be an oasis you can walk through for its full enjoyment. Determine where the hot and sunny spaces are and where soil is dry or moist. Plan on improving the soil by adding compost, material to enhance draining, and or adjusting the pH as needed. Be certain that the garden grading is completed prior to any planting.