Like all gardens, mine is a work in progress. I don't have a master plan: it is nothing like I imagined it would be seven years ago, when I first moved here, and I am fairly sure that in seven more years it will be nothing like I imagine it now.
Back then I pictured having a beautiful vegetable garden, a raspberry patch, and a bed of poppies. Princess Victoria Louise Oriental poppies, to be precise. Seven years later, my vegetable garden consists of pots of tomatoes and herbs on my elevated back deck, where they are safe from assorted wildlife and soggy North Carolina clay. Yet even there, the squirrels eat my tomatoes with abandon, so next year there will be only herbs on the deck. The berry patch idea likewise was shelved, as there seemed no point in planting raspberries (or blackberries or blueberries) merely to feed the animals. As for my Princess Victoria Louise oriental poppies, purchased with eager anticipation from a mail order catalogue: they survived two years without ever flowering, then disappeared for good.
I'm happy to report that I now know better than to attempt oriental poppies here. I know that tulips are annuals and only certain daffodils will come back (especially when you plant them on a steep, north-facing hill covered with ivy). I know that bee balm, daylilies, and rudbeckia are considered humdrum but that, unlike my poppies, they're still alive. And really, who can argue with that?