Posted: 04/07/2012 at 12:08
I think it sounds like my ideal situation , I love a challenge and at the moment am a gardener with big ideas but only a small(ish) garden.
I like the prarie garden or new perennial garden style which as Gary above says needs lots of space ( which you have ) to work effectively and may not be to your taste.
You say you site is windswept, why not take advantage of that with swaying perennials and grasses rather than fighting against the wind.
If you don't have many established plants at the moment ( you don't say what is in the garden at the moment ) the perennial garden would be ideal as it can be quick to establish using perennial seed mixes ( like have been used at the Olympic park) or by cuttings or division of exisiting plants.
If the soon to be garden is just down to grass before laying paths etc cut paths into the grass to determine where the paths are to go , if you decide you don't want a path in that place just let the grass grow taller again and cut a new path.
Two books i would reccomend are Designing with Plants by Piet Oudolf and The New Perennial Garden by Noel Kingsbury.
Once the perennials are established they will reduce the weeding by forming a weed suppressing layer over the soil, and as for pruning what pruning just cut the whole thing down to the ground in late winter, you can even go as far as Kingsbury suggests and use a flame gun to kill off any weeds that have survived !
You could implement this idea while waiting for other plants and trees to establish or ff you decide that after a few years you don't like the garden you can rip out the perennials ( or sell or give them away) and start again.