She was initially amazed at how bit an area I was planning (I'd circled an area about 30 feet by 10 feet) but then suggested expanding it from the oval that paralleled the house to include a curve past the rose bush that currently has a prominent place in the front yard. Works for me as that just means there's that much less lawn to mow as far as I'm concerned.
That also means I'll end up with a bit of an L-shaped garden with two areas where I can put some taller plants as focus points. The corner of the L will correspond with the corner of our lot and Ericka's sight line to the bus corner.
So I'm thinking of renting a rototiller this weekend (or next if one's not available) to cultivate the area and cover it to prepare for spring planting. The digging up of the south side of the house by hand was quite enough, thanks and this'll be an area a bit bigger and it'll all be sod. I'm going for mechanical assistance; call me a wimp if you like.
Once I figure out if that'll be possible or not, I'll see if I can squeeze in a visit to the local native-plant nursery. Maybe visit the nursery on Saturday and cultivate on Sunday.
Since we're slow here at work (as is typical on Fridays) I think I'll take the opportunity to whip up some graph paper and maybe do some draft designs. If I come up with something interesting, I'll see about doing an electronic version and posting it.