To set your yard apart, invest in streetscaping to add to your home's current and future value. A pleasant view from the street gives a sense of individual pride and accomplishment that will yield results that last for decades.
The architectural features of your yard will be the most expensive and permanent. You may want to plan them in stages: the driveway first, good steps and walks next, porch or fence the next year. Select materials that will add to your landscape, not ruin its harmony. Plantings are easier to install and change, but you'll want to be sure to put them in the right places so they can quickly play a role.