The British, and all former British colonies, call it "the garden." In French, it is le jardin, or "the garden." In fact, the only place in the world that does not refer to land and landscaping around a home as a garden is the U.S. Perhaps it is because Americans often view gardens as things needing constant upkeep and work, whereas "yard" or "landscaping" sounds so much less difficult to care for. Since you are finally ready to put in some major landscaping (or do some "gardening"), you should know, and be ready for, landscape maintenance.
When Annuals Are Done for the Season
Annuals last a single growing season. Their entire lives are compressed into six months or less. When they die, that is it. They will not regrow next year.
That said, when your annual plants, flowers, and shrubs are done, you either have to roto-till them into the earth and let nature do the rest, or pull out their dead remains and chuck them into the landscaping bag. Most professional landscapers will tell you that it is a good idea to just till them into the soil. That way, if you plant the same annuals there next spring, the properly decomposed annuals that were there before will provide the following year's annuals with plenty of needed nutrients.
Putting Roses to Bed
As beautiful as roses are, they are the most work of all landscaping plants. You constantly have to prune them to get them to grow, then you have to lop off flower heads like Morticia Addams just to get the best blooms to bloom even bigger. Roses constantly need to be checked for aphids, ants, and other insects that love burrowing into the buds and destroying the flowers.
They need to be dusted for insects too. You have to water them often, and when fall comes, you have to put roses to bed by wrapping them up, covering their base stalks, and making sure nothing can get at them all winter. If you choose to put in roses, expect to care for them like puppies and infants.
Do Not Forget the Grass Either
Even if you never put in a flower, a tree, or a bush, the grass is a non-stop job. Grass lawns are a human creation. If left to Mother Nature, you would have weeds and wildflowers a-plenty, but not much real grass. Grass needs mowing, watering, aerating, feeding, fertilization, seeding, and about a half dozen other actions. If you are not up to the task, there are always landscaping experts who are.
Visit a site like http://allamericanlandscapedesign.com for more help.