Posted: 06/02/2014 at 12:05
Oooooh Babs, a massive blank canvas to get your teeth into - how exciting! There are free garden design programs online now, that you can play with to see what sort of designs you may like.
Agree that the best thing is also to browse books, magazines, websites...can give you loads of ideas.
Visit gardens too (RHS to a great membership), as well as parks and anywhere with a bit of green - write down what you like the look of and take photos. You can ID things later on.
As iGrow says, ask next door about their garden - find out what exposure yours has, what the soil is like etc - really important for deciding what will grow best and thrive, rather than thrashing it out with plants that may be unhappy in a particular spot or soil.
Go to garden centres as well, just to look at plants you may like and read the labels! I used to do that loads and also chat to the more knowledgeable plant staff, who gave me tips and advice.
Above all, don't expect for a minute that you'll create your dream garden in one season and leave it that way. It takes time, loads of mistakes and lots of love and attention. It's a process, rather than a task to be finished. And above all, it's loads of fun - so enjoy!