Cost of Professional Landscape Design

Hello,
My wife and I bought our first home a year ago. The front yard is very dull.
When I was growing up, I was the neighborhood garden boy. But I never gained much experience designing -- I just planted things wherever the neighbor wanted them.
So I want to improve the front yard with some basic landscaping, but don't have the time or energy thinking and researching about which plants and which materials. I know I want "a red wall that goes like this and some bay grass stuff that goes like that, and something blue over there". But's that's all I got.
I am considering hiring a professional designer -- but that depends on the price. I would be interested in just purchasing a design, and maybe a materials list. But I would want to do the work myself, perhaps over the next few years depending on how things go.
Anybody know a ballpark figure of what a basic landscape design costs? I know the answer is "it depends", but I am hoping to get some ballparks to see if I am barking up the right tree.
Thanks,
Chris
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For the basics, and for starters, there are several self help landscape design books on the market, even Lowes and Home Depot have them. You can get the basics by drawing a plat of your property, and using the books for ideas and suggestions, work your way through it. Using this method you can control what comes and goes according to you and your wife's ideas.
If that wont do it, landscape designers come and go, every where. Get one with references, and check them.
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a lot of gardening centers will send out a designer for free if you buy your plants at their center. the problem with garden designers is they tend to have a "look". OTOH, a good center with a great rep will carry plants that do really well in your area and there wont be THOSE kinds of mistakes. just be sure to have in your mind what kind of landscape you want, what purpose. all plans start with hardscape and then major trees and bushes. Ingrid
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