cubeyes wrote: This past summer I decided to try my hand at a small backyard garden... I had to overcome a few obstacles including but not limited to: feral cats that call the yard home, squirrels that seem to be spying my every move, and some weird treasures in the soil, such as 50 year old nails and pieces of old patio stones. Well I made it and what a fun ride it was! I had no plan, no plant knowledge and I literally threw seeds into my shopping cart and figured by faith, it will all work out! I ended up planting morning glories (by seed) along the garage side wall, then sunflowers (by seed) mixed with gladiolus (from bulbs) of a light orange colour, then some four o'clocks (seeds) and a beautiful Dahlia from bulbs. I tossed in some random annuals that I cannot remember the names of and they flourished as well. I knew nothing about soil but trusted a few novice gardeners I knew and added a good portion of topsoil to my earth and black cedar mulch. I don't know if the ground soil can be credited for my 15 foot tall sunflowers but nonetheless they attracted a LOT of attention from passersby! The last picture is the sunflowers seen from the roadside, well above the garage! The second picture is the beginning of my garden with a protective fence around and over it to protect it from cats and squirrels! This experience has created a passion in me and although I know I'll never be a true green thumb, I hope to be at least a green pinkie! Can't wait for Spring 2013! I'm moving further south and have tons of yard space for landscaping and gardening! My research has begun and the new challenge is a shade garden under predominately cedar trees! Any ideas for a zone 4/5 shade garden?