En Garde! Don't Take On More Garden Than You Can Handle -- Be A "20 Minute Gardener"

"Plant perennials," advises Sunset magazine's garden editor Kathleen Brenzel, who's authored a new book, "The 20-Minute Gardener."

Good thing about perennials is how they keep repeating themselves year after year. They grow back. Perennials don't need gallons of water. She has personal favorites, like coral bells; twins to her spin are gloriosa daisy, sedum autumn joy, and pin-cushion flower.
Install low-cost lighting. Putting built-in or portable lighting is one of the most expensive parts to your hobby. To save money, take a standard birdbath with a shallow bowl, fill it with water and set small votive candles in it. "Put in enough candles to fill the bowl and then some," says Kathleen. "The effect is quite stunning."

Try DIY water features -- shorthand for "do it yourself." Fill glazed saucers with water and put them throughout the garden. "Birds love them and it gives the suggestion of a little pool. I did one with an 18-inch diameter saucer and tucked it in a border under some ferns."