Landscape design projects are not complete until the dust settles with the designer/ contractors/ installers gone and the client enjoying their new home environment privately with family and friends. With that said there also must be a beginning, this starts with the client having a fair understanding of their vision, desire or need.
One thing I am acutely aware of after thirty years plus of designing is that my clients and their projects are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. This makes communication with the client and an honest evaluation of their personal preferences paramount.
In the old days I would suggest that clients go through magazines, cut them out and put in a folder for us to review. Many times they just didn’t have time or access to good materials. In todays information age now there are so many access points to images it can be confusing.
One of the best beginning points I have found and suggest to clients is http://www.houzz.com It is the largest residential design database in the world with thousands of images that can be viewed and saved for a clear communication tool to start the design process. I have some images of my projects on there which you might want to look over.
But know that all these images started the same way, at the beginning utilizing a sound design process resulting into houzz reality.