In another life, I was a bigtime flower gardener with green thumbs on both hands and both feet. I'm loving having a nice place to start all over again. This is almost as good a therapy as the recoil variety.
In truth, given oodles of cash and time to do it, you can make a garden look impressive in a relatively short amount of time, but a trained eye can see when something was overly-engineered and popped up overnight. The impressive part of gardening is building around a good core of perennials native to your area which will thrive on the climate you have with a minimal amount of water. The real trick of gardening is to find and prefer the plants which will thrive on your amount of neglect. A well-done garden does not come into its own until all seasons have passed at least a couple times.
To that end, I've gotten some of my gardeny things out of storage the past couple weeks and I've cooked a little with my herbs and I have a raging mess of Roma tomatoes which will be ready for table this week. Here's my first nice basket of plants, and a before picture. The white and lilac flowers from the ground are volunteers - petunias that came up from seed dropped from plantings the previous owners put out.
I expect by Fall, the whole garden area will be looking very different, and next Spring it will be a riot of blossoms and fragrance and taste that will belie the hours of effort and thought I've put into it But it'll be a good two years before this looks like my place. I'm patient to wait for that, because I've seen it happen, and it's a glorious thing.
More to come. Cheers, m'dears!