I make my living developing layouts for other peoples yards and making it a reality, that's right I'm a landscaper. Now keep this a secret just between you and I, but my opinion on landscaping is that I Do not think anyone really needs to higher a landscaper they could do the work themselves. Of course I do not share this secret with my clients, I need to earn a living somehow but if you have good landscaping ideas, you'll enjoy the fruits of your labor that much more if you do it yourself. You'll have a sense of pride that you've done the design and work yourself, and exactly to the design you wanted.
Personally I believe there are four main reasons why people do not do their own landscaping work. It's either a lack of interest, lack of knowhow, lack of time, or no landscaping ideas. Now if you do not have the time to do the work there is not much you can do about that, but you can learn how to do the landscaping tasks, and there are great landscaping ideas everywhere. Ideas and designs can come in an array of places. Magazines either, gardening, home improvement or architectural are great for showing pictures with landscaping ideas in them. Also websites of the same topic .. How ever in my humble opinion the very best place to look for ideas is right in your community. What are other people doing around you with their yards.
To let the cat out of the bag, this is where I get a lot of my landscaping ideas. When I drive by a yard I think looks wonderful I take a moment to stop and think, what is it about that garden or patio that makes it stand out. How could I integrate the greatness of that design into my work? Should it be larger or smaller? More flowers or a different color? Now, I'm not suggesting you copy your neighbors yard, but take ideas from everywhere, whether it be museums, public gardens, or people down the street, once you borrow those ideas and make them your own you'll find yourself with a Beautiful design and layout. Looking to other gorgeous landscaped areas are a great inspiration to help you not only do a good job, but develop a wonderful unique layout and take the time to make it look beautiful.