There are so many things I've learned along the way with my gardening. Things I read, but really didn't quite take to heart, only to learn a few years later I should've listened to an expert. I know all gardeners learn by trial and error about what will work in their yard.
Some lessons I wish I would've learned that would've saved me a lot of money:
1. I don't have enough sun in my back yard to have a sunny cottage garden like I see in my garden books.
2. I'm not really that into vegetable gardening, other than tomatoes and maybe a few peas.
3. I should've started with the "bones" of my garden first, not perennials.
4. You do need all season interest plants, shrubs and trees to make your garden look nice year round, not just spring and summer.
5. Research plants first, or else you will end up with a plum tree that gets infested with aphids every year and then all the fruit will crack and it'll send suckers up everywhere, and then your husband won't let you cut it down (oops, guess thats still a sore spot).
6. Less impulse buying, although you just have to sometimes!!
7. Accept that my yard will never be full sun, and learn to embrace the woodland natives that are much easier to grow under evergreens.
Great plant picks is a great resource that I've found. I can't wait for their 2009 list to come out. According to their website it should be out in February. I've found that I do have better luck with these selections. I plan to print our their list and keep it with me this year. Then at least I'll know that I should have better luck with my impulse buy!