You don't just go out on a limb and wing a great landscape design. It's all about the creativity you can bring to the table within the limitation of your budget. So when you're out on your first adventure of landscape design, it's best to always know what you're dealing with.
To be creative, you have to first be realistic. What kind of house do you have? How much space will you be using? Only when you know what you're going to be dealing with, can you figure out how you're going to play with it.
The environment is also a big factor when designing. The difference between landscape design and interior design is that with the latter, you don't have to take in weather as a consideration. Just how hot or cold can it get outside your home? This also limits what you can put outside. Not all plants and flowers are the same and they have different needs in terms of sunlight, water and temperatures that they can live in.
Once you've fully comprehended all of these factors, you can now go on to the actual designing. Draw inspiration from gardens and lawns around you. What do you like and what don't you like? Do ponds attract mosquitoes?
Do you really want rocks in your garden? Only you can answer these questions. A landscape design tells a story. It's the introduction to how you see life? Is it peaceful like a zen garden? A beautiful summer day out in a park?
Or is reminiscent of the early colonial periods? Read magazines that feature gardens and homes. Tear out pictures and create a mood board. Think of a theme to organize your thoughts.
Stick to one idea only and then start with a focal point. Then choose your plants and flowers around that focal point. Add structures like benches or ponds if you wish. The key to inspiration goes back to what you yourself find inspiring.