When we bought our house last year, it was the end of winter. However, we could tell that despite the brown leaves matted under foot, the front and backyard were both fully lanscaped; we just didn't know to what extent.
We figured it couldn't be that bad -- it's not like we had to do all the planning and planting work. We could just maintain what's already there. I was a virgin gardener after all. I didn't even know if I was a brown or green thumb (I still don't know, that first year, the plants seemed to manage themselves). All I knew was that we were inheriting a fully gardened 50 x 130 lot and we had better learn to garden ... fast.
Lucky for me, our neigbor's an avid gardener who is part of a gardening club, and she came over and told me what everything was and how to take care of it, often repeating instructions each time she came over. She told me that the previous owners planted the garden after a trip to England thus inspiring the garden theme. Whatever. What I learned that first year -- aside from the fact that I inherited a s&%$load of plants -- was that I actually enjoyed being in the garden, sitting in the grass, pulling weeds, and getting muddy.
My enthusiasm for the garden must have shown because last year I recieved a pair of crocs from my mother-in-law (my new garden shoes), recipes for organic gardening "potions", and new pruners. And for my birthday, my uncle A and aunt L gave me money to be used "for your garden tools" -- and I did just that!
The entire spring and summer was an explosion of plants. I must have about 10 different kinds of hostas and I know the terms phlox and cedum, I know that I have russian sage, a butterfly bush and more coneflowers than a midwest prairie. I know how to spot black eyed susans before they bloom and that they are NOT weeds that should be pulled out.
I am ready for this year!