Mary Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

Ryan and I are definitely not master gardeners. I had a "garden" when I was small that lasted a few weeks maybe. What the birds didn't get, the slugs did. I was so disappointed by that experience that I have not tried again since... (cue dramatic music) UNTIL NOW.

We've both watched our parents grow thriving gardens. Last year I longed for a container garden... but my little bachelorette pad had a patio that was more in the shade than out of it. Not ideal growing conditions. Now that we have a real yard with sunny spots and space to spread out, we're looking forward to our first garden.

Of course it WILL be in pots because as renters we don't have the luxury of digging up the yard. But I think that for our first foray into growing things we will be best suited to controlling all of the factors involved. We don't exactly have the background to troubleshoot any problems.

Here's what we have on the to-be-grown list (subject to change as we learn more): Herbs: Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme (ha), Basil, Cilantro (yuck, but Ryan wants it), Parsley. Flowers: Lavender and nasturtiums. Veggies/Fruits: Tomato, lettuce, carrots, radishes, peas (undecided on type). What do you think? Anything fantastic missing?

Dear readers, I'd love for you to offer us some gardening advice. Even better if you're in the Western Washington area, but any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Where is a great place to buy cheap pots? Do I really need this HUGE shopping list of stuff to put in my potting soil? What brands of things do you swear by? And tell us a little about your garden plans!