Here are some lessons Susan Martin learned as she grew her garden. What worked for her can work for you, too.
Move Plants at Will
Instead of trying to work out every detail on paper before you plant, you can use actual blooms as your way of seeing color combinations that dazzle. Susan discovered that she can move plants even while they are blooming, provided she's willing to let that season's blossoms droop. "Gardening books say not to move plants during the summer," she says. "But if you really water them the day before, you can do it quite successfully." She takes care to keep as much dirt as possible around the roots, and to move plants via her wheelbarrow to their new home right away. Even if flowers fall off, the plants do fine the next season. And there's no risk you'll forget what you wanted to switch.
Shown: Gus, a 5-foot-tall salvaged metal rooster, presides over part of the backyard.