Everything depends on good landscaping material which is so much cheaper in huge rolls. Obviously if the garden is small you have to put up with that expensive cheapy stuff from the hardware store, but if you are in a new neighborhood, a shared investment with some neighbors for materials can be a boon to all. Even if you don’t get all of your share. The commercial landscaping products are so much better to allow moisture through, retain moisture, block out weeds (nothing…not even cement will keep out quack grass – so kill it or don’t bother even starting) and they don’t rot and tear. Even so I can cut mine with ordinary scissors.
If you are buying rocks they need to be cleaned or washed rock. It’s a big job to do on your own. It can be purchased that way too. If you don’t there will be plenty of soil available for the weeds and seeds to find footing in…and to make a very big mess for you for years. There’s trouble enough with rotting debris from plants without starting out with trouble. Keeping seed heads trimmed and leaves removed will extend the life of the plot too.