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While the gardens pictured in glossy magazines and fabulous coffee table books can be fun to look at, it can sometimes be difficult to apply their ideas to one's own yard. Nearby botanical gardens and arboretums can give you a better sense of how a plant or tree grows (height, width, and visual weight) and, better yet, how well it does in your area. Garden tours sponsored by your local garden club or society can be better sources of inspiration showing real life gardeners in yards similar to your own. Even strolling around your own neighborhood can provide you with ideas on plantings that complement (or hide) the housing in your area.