" I'd love to create something like your inspiration photo!"
Yeah, me too!
Obviously have a ways to go yet!
It's amazing how many people think that since the fence line is straight, the plantings along it have to be as well. Curved plantings really help break up the box shape of most yards. Here's another picture:
For several years I referred back to a photo I found on line, which has now disappeared. But my description of it will give you some ideas.
https://picklemedia1.scrippsnetworks.com ... dium.JPG?0
"It illustrates a lot of nice design principles -- use of curved lines rather than straight (how many people would have put a straight row of plants along that straight fence line, very boring and unnatural), use of a variety of materials/textures, wood, stone, concrete, terra cotta, etc., plus different plant textures, use of mixed heights and sloping heights of plants tallest in back down to the sprawling ground cover in front.
Also this person broke up the space a little, with the crossways divider part way back. Breaking up the space and having things that are not all visible from one spot or in one glance makes your space seem much bigger and more interesting. Put some pops of color up at eye level where they are more noticed, like green bird feeder (bird nester?), hanging basket of purple petunias. False perspective. Notice how the curved bump outs are much wider at the front and narrower at the back? It gives the illusion of greater distance, like the back part is very far away. You can do the same thing with a path, making it gradually narrow a little bit as it recedes, or with repeated elements like a dry stream bed or line of rocks, making them smaller at the back."
When I get to expanding and refining my plantings later, I really want to try the false perspective thing. Even that first inspiration picture at the top of this page shows some of that, with the bed wider at the front and narrowing towards the back.