Dear Katie, Welcome! Great question, so thanks. I have a few thoughts. First, whatever it takes to make you feel like gardening is doable and take that next step, including ordering a pre-planned garden as your first building block, do it. You will learn from every experiment you try in gardening, tossing out what looks awful and moving stuff around to suit your eye and your location, and getting more of what you like and adding in some things of your own. Second, I’d say just be sure to order from somewhere really good. I admire nurserymen like David Salman of High Country Gardening in New Mexico, for example, who grows great plants and is a smart gardener. His pre-planned gardens look better than many I’ve seen in catalogs, http://www.highcountrygardens.com/catalog/browse/planned-gardens/ So do it, and do one other thing: Look at the tour dates near you for the Garden Conservancy Open Days, http://gardenconservancy.org/, and go see some private gardens in your area and see what they’re growing. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…maybe you can get some ideas for some "pre-planned garden combinations" from more experienced gardeners nearby. Margaret
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.