A blank canvas woohoo you luck person you!
My garden plan is already full and I've only been here since march but it changes every time I look at a garden catalog. I am disabled and can only garden for about 15 minutes at a time so I understand limited time in the garden. Once the garden soil is softened its pretty easy to keep it weeded and that where most of the time goes I think.
First things first is probably a good idea. Find out the PH of your soil. There are little kits cost about 10.00 that you can buy to do this. That will tell you if you need to amend the soil.
Second of all is how large are your beds? I have a 20 X 20 space that I am slowly reclaiming from the weeds
Third what kind of garden would you like. Something like a knot garden very formal or a cottage garden very informal. Or maybe even a zen garden very very low maintenace lol. There are soooooo many choices. There is even a picture of some one who created a Sea Bed Garden in one of the rooms. I can't remember which one now. But that looked really cool.
Once you have an idea about the overall look you want to achieve then we can look at which plants
will best fit your needs. Native plants
in your area of course would be the lowest maintenance.