We felt that we shouldn't get started on the driveway without a comprehensive landscape plan. The reason for this was twofold - first off, we felt that we should only get the concrete people in once, rather than twice, and it was highly likely we'd need to put some concrete aggregate around the front of the house so that we could have a path to carry the trash & recycle bins around.
Second, we thought if we poured the driveway first, we might get ourselves into trouble, by either not allowing for something we might need in the future, or by bringing in heavy equipment that might be needed to excavate retaining wall foundations, and that heavy equipment could damage the driveway.
After interviewing several landscaping companies, we selected Scott Brown Landscape Design. Scott's company has the advantage of preparing the plans only, or project managing everything end to end.
We weren't ready to commit to doing all the work up front, but we did want a comprehensive plan to work with from the get go, so Scott and Kim have been working on drawing up a set of plans for the past 2 weeks which detail how to treat the exterior.
Below are draft plans.