A garden doesn't have to be a huge amount of work. It doesn't have to be the marvel of the neighborhood.

My garden isn't perfect. It isn't meant to be perfect. It's meant to give me a place to get dirt on my hands and put life in perspective. Weeds grow in it, but, March to October, so do fresh vegetables, flowers, and herbs. I do what I can to minimize work.

Some books which support this philosophy:
Square Foot Gardening Mel Bartholomew
The Weekend Garden Guide Susan A. Roth

Some favorite reference books:
Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening
Pictorial Guide to Perennials Jane Helmer & Karla Decker

Favorite sources of perennials:
Neighbors! know what grows locally; price is usually right
Garden Club Sales Almost as good as neighbors.
Seed Many perennials can be started from seed.
Bluestone Perennials (800) 852-5243

Favorite web sites (just a few)
Missouri Botanical Garden
The (no) Problem Garden

Inch by inch, row by row,
Gonna make this garden grow,
All it takes is a rake and a hoe,
And a piece of fertile ground.

Inch by inch, row by row,
Please bless these seeds I sow,
Please warm them from below,
'Till the rain comes tumblin' down.

Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones,
Man is made of dreams and bones,
Feel the need to grow my own,
'Cause the time is close at hand.

Grain for grain, sun and rain,
Find my way in Nature's chain,
Tune my body and my brain
To the music from the land.

Plant your rows straight and long,
Temper them with prayer and song,
Mother Earth will make you strong
If you give her loving care.

An old crow watching hungrily
From his perch in yonder tree,
In my garden I'm as free
As that feathered thief up there.

Garden Song
Dave Mallet(mod. Pete Seeger)

Favorite Gardening Tip: Mulch! Mulch! Mulch! Mulch! Many riding stables have two-year-old manure piles which make wonderful (free) mulch. Some communities provide free mulch to residents. If you can't transport it yourself, buying a truckload of mulch each spring is a good gardening investment which will save time and work.