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I've been in my newly built home 2 years exactly. As someone who has never had a garden before, what I learned in the last 2 years is:

  1. I use the garden differently than I thought I would and therefore my original vision is no longer what I want or need. Luckily I hadn't implemented the original vision much further than planting a few shrubs and cutting out beautiful pictures from magazines!

  2. Weeding and digging is backbreaking work and I can't do it alone.

  3. If you are not sure what something is, leave it alone for a while to see what happens. Birds and wildlife drop seeds that can turn into gorgeous (free) plants and wildflowers, but because I moved across the country to an area with unfamiliar flora, I was pulling up plants that I thought were weeds and leaving weeds that I thought were plants!

  4. Admitting I need a professional to help me has been a huge relief. We're about to embark on vision #2 and this time I'm confident it will progress further than cutting out pretty pictures from magazines.

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Islav2012: I've had many different flower gardens over the years and my favorite by far have been my shade gardens. I don't tolerate heat well so gardening in the shade is perfect for me. I also love many of the shade-loving plants. Just head over to your closest garden center and ask the staff for help. They'll lead you to the shade-loving section. Happy gardening!
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Lead Free America Foundation (mentioned in article) allegedly dissolved a few years ago; check out comments about the foundation from Charity Navigator. Would like to find a similar organization but one that's in compliance with nonprofit laws. Thanks.

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