There's a show on the DIY Network called Desperate Landscapes. Needless to say, we think our house would be perfect on that show...but unfortunately, they're only casting in Las Vegas, San Diego, and Miami. (I've been checking the DIY and HGTV websites for a year and a half, hoping to find a landscaping show casting in the Austin area, but there's been nothing.)
So, with a free TV makeover out of the question, it's looking like we're going to have to pay for our landscaping. We liked the designer we met with on Friday (we'll call her A), and as of this morning we have officially contracted with her to provide design services for us. She definitely seemed disappointed to hear our budget, but she acknowledged that we've spent an awful lot so far, and she was happy to get started on the design with the understanding that we may want to bid out the actual work. (But I hope it will work out so that she will be the one to do it, too -- I'm tired of interviewing contractors.)
A doesn't do driveways, fences, or irrigation, so she gave us names of people to contact to get started in those areas. Once we get rough quotes for the driveway and fence, we'll know how much of the budget is left for the actual landscaping. For now, she's going to start putting together a master plan, and we'll figure out what is Phase 1 versus Phase 2 when we know how much everything is going to cost.