We are going on our fifth year living in this house, as well as our fifth year of being amateur gardeners. Pretty much everything we know about gardening we owe it the wonderful fact of being a homeowner and having to take care of the yard ourselves.
Yesterday Norm and I worked on the yard just about all day and since I've been thinking (deeply) about how far we've come since we first moved in... We are now planting deer resistant plants (deer don't like lantanas, they don't like gardenias either). We are diligently spraying the anti-dog spray on the flowers on the porch, as well as the throw-up-smelling spray for anti deer (on the hydrangeas). We're putting hair clippings on these too to keep the deer away (these are the sort of things you learn when you live out in the boonies).
We have overcome the weeds (for the most part) as well as the moss stuff that grows on the front hill. Our yard is slowly turning green.
Norm "rescued" a Maple tree from the woods area, he planted a fig and a dogwood tree... We have an herb garden with an established rosemary bush, a lavender bush, thyme, parsley and we're about to add sage and basil.
Trial and error have been (and still are) our best teachers and because of them we appreciate what we have today even more. We are learning so much and loving every minute of it!