Do not get intimidated, or over think it. Keep it simple. It is very simple and very rewarding.
Great stimulator of neighborhood conversation! Our neighbors have admittedly loved watching our front yard transform after some initial skepticism.
Remove all the lawn, don’t bury it like I did. That stuff is tough and will grow up through the soil. And lay the drain pipe first. I waited till the end to connect it, and realized that my outfall pipe (already installed) did not exactly line up with the downspout.
Be sure the slope leading to the garden is steep enough to effectively have the water run properly to the garden area.
Rocks extending from the downspout add character. Mulching after the planting really helps to keep the weeds at bay 🙂
I recommend reusing sod to construct berm and use large pieces of cardboard (Ikea dumpster dive) to edge and mulch sides.