Set a budget. Just as with interior design and remodeling projects, have a firm idea of what you want to spend before you contact a pro. Not only will this give the landscaper a starting point and a helpful set of parameters, it will save both of you frustration down the road. You don't want to fall in love with sketches of lavish flowers and stately trees, only to find out they're beyond reach, and a pro doesn't want to waste time drawing up detailed plans that will later have to be scratched. With a target cost in hand, a pro can also suggest creative solutions that may never have come into play otherwise, helping you stretch your budget to get the most mileage out of each dollar.Scout out potential sources. Do you have friends whose gardens blooms with lavish color or seem to win "Yard of the Month" once a season? Ask whether they use professional help, and if so, put those pros on your short list. Local botanical gardens and homebuilders' associations are other good places to seek names.