In my other life I am a gardener.
I own many books on gardening and every year buy a few plants that inevitably don't make it to see the next year. I just bought another book, in fact, on the well-tended perennial garden to try to jump start my thinking for this summer's attempt at a garden.
Partly to blame is my lack of knowledge on the subject and the existing grounds I am trying to garden. The backyard (where I want this fantastic perennial garden) is primarily shaded and the dirt is thinned so much that tree roots are visible in some spots. Gooseneck (as lovely as it is) has taken over and from what I hear is very hard to extinguish. Then it turns into more work and less of a hobby.
I don't like dirt, bugs, being hot or spending hours pulling weeds that will be re-grown in a matter of days. BUT I love places like Grandma Judy's back yard that seem effortlessly perfect with blooms from spring through fall.
If anyone has suggestions, I'm all ears. Until then I'll be poring through my books and catalogs picking out plants to plant and kill during the 2008 growing season.