The big picture

She works magic. People walk by and say 'we love your garden!'  I yell out her name and then sit back and enjoy - Andrew S.

This is quite the complement and the shortened version of a lengthy and very fun recommendation.  But it's not really magic to create a wonderful garden.  It helps to start from a holistic point of view by getting the big overview and then filtering down to the details.  One has to understand the environment of the garden, the climate, the altitude, what grows, what doesn't grow, if the spot has shade or sun, how the garden will be used by the people who will live in it.  One has to discover the problems and use good design to solve them.  There is an element of art, mixed with some science and practical mechanics.