I'm a gardening answer person periodically on a call-in radio program for our university's Your Day Public Service Radio feed that goes throughout the state. It's fun, and I'm glad to encourage gardeners of whatever knowledge level to learn more and have fun doing it. I pitched in today as a last-minute guest for my friend and colleague, Bob Polomski (and substitute for a much more well-known gardening 'personality') - Felder Rushing, whose Mississippi radio base needed to switch their focus to Hurricane Isaac.
Today's calls were typical, from ornamentals to vegetables.
I'm always reminded (and try to encourage folks) that learning about plants is fun, and rewarding. Before adding landscape plants, learn about them. Vegetables, ditto. If you've inherited an overgrown landscape, learn about what you have and prune things back judiciously.
Talk to your extension agent, too. He/she often knows a lot about what you're interested in planting.
Oh, and planting in fall is the best practice, too, throughout the Carolinas, even if maybe you can't acquire the right plants. Try, however!