Beyond the zone maps, the USDA is a wealth of information for gardeners of all levels. You could take hours to explore the resources this government agency offers; they include lists of plants that thrive in your state, lists of threatened and endangered plants in your area, and weeds to watch out for when planting your first garden.
If you have a burning question, click on “Ask an Expert” to get your answer from an actual person.
Not just for fiction books, the library can offer some indispensable information for a new gardener. Top gardening books include American Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques: The Indispensable Illustrated Practical Guide, edited by David J. Ellis, Fiona Gilsenan, Rita Pelczar, and Graham Rice (Mitchell Beazley, 2009), as well as Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love by Julie Moir Messervy (the Taunton Press, 2009). The latter helps you create a soothing, luxurious backyard using plants.
However, the library also often offers master gardeners, whether it’s a class or a set day they are available to ask questions. Drop by with your list of questions and perhaps some photos, and they’ll set you on the right track.
If you’re afraid you have a black thumb, it might just be a case of not having enough information. Research and a little patience can turn that black thumb green in no time.