Gardens to Visit
A landscape architect once told me that as gardeners and professionals we are always borrowing and improving on each other's designs. I would agree. I find my best garden designs are a combination of luck, borrowed ideas and experimentation. Increase your luck by visiting private and public gardens in your area. These are great places to see which perennials will thrive in your area, plant combinations that provide great impact, and other design ideas that work with or don't fit your gardening style.
And don't just make one visit. You really need to see the plants throughout the year. You will be amazed at how they change. Make sure the plant you just can't resist in bloom looks just as good when the flowers fade or the snow flies. Yes, snow—stop by in winter to see if you and the birds will enjoy these plants in your garden. And don't be shy about asking other visitors, volunteers, and staff about their favorite plants or combinations. There is a wealth of information growing in and walking through the gardens.