Don’t feel bad, Melissa .  And please no more pictures of scary black cats.  Your post was very honest–you do have way too much bad grass, but you’re not the only gardener who can’t commit.   Most new gardeners don’t know where to start.   And we’re all new in the beginning, by the way.  Not even the greatest are born knowing this stuff.   

So here’s a plan for you and all the new gardeners who don’t  have a gardening Granny, Mama, or Daddy to show them the way–

1) Get a mentor.  Find an older gardener who will advise you (share plants and vision). 

2) Kill stuff.  Do it proudly.  I have grown English shrubs from seed and prized Camellias from cuttings but along the way I have killed thousands of plants.  Death is part of the garden and part of your gardening education.   Death will teach you.  Throw them on the compost pile and don’t look back.  Keep trying. 

3) Start with a bed.  Plants look better grouped together.

4) Make the bed bigger.  Most beds are too small and narrow.  They look like someone pushed all the furniture back to have a dance. 

5) Spend your money on the soil–not the plants.  A few packs of seeds will shine in good soil.  In bad soil, even the most expensive plants will languish and die.  And if you live around here, your soil is bad.  Improve it.

6)  Relax, because if you put it in the wrong place, you can move it next year. 

7)  Concrete is hell to move.  Don’t use it  until you have been gardening for at least 5 years.

8)  Fresh Eyes–If you don’t know what to do with your yard get another gardeners opinion. 

Which is just what Melissa did.  Saturday we walked around her backyard talking over ideas, checking out views. 

Friday, we plan to lay out the new tropical bed.  Next step–kill the grass.   And yea, she could move the stairs, install a stone patio, build an arbor–but we’re doing this as cheaply as possible.  And we’re doing it NOW.  Spring starts this month.  So jump in–Commit and Garden!