When I was a child, I would look at gardens relatively dismissively. Some houses had pretty flowers. Most did not. (Ours did not.) Gardening was not something I thought about at all beyond mowing the lawn.
When we rented a house just after we married, we planted a few vegetables in a small strip of ground in the tiny back yard and had some annuals potted on the porch, but that was as far as we ventured.
After moving to the Punkinhouse, though, with its much larger yard, I let myself get carried away. In a mad rush to do something to alleviate the relentless GREEN of nothing but lawn, LSH and I brought in dirt (soil!) and dug and planted and planned and planted some more.
That was a dozen years ago and in our starry-eyed naivete we had no concept of the incredible amount of WORK gardening is. Even planting only perennials ("The ones that come back every year" I called them when we first started frequenting nurseries in the spring.) the amount of work still consumes at least five full weekends when I could be doing something much more enjoyable. (Like sitting with a book and a cocktail looking at the garden.) And that's after years of not planting anything. (Okay, well maybe just a couple of new things each year...)
All this is leading to the admonition: next time you see a garden, be impressed. And if the gardener is out there with a g&t enjoying the fruit of her labors, tell her you're impressed.