Let me just preface this post by saying I have not always had a "green thumb". Both of my parents have the knack for gardening and taking care of both indoor/outdoor plants but I did not inherit that gift for a long time. When my hubby and I bought our first house out of college, the only plant I could grow was an Ivy because they are virtually indestructible! Over the years, my gardening skills improved but I still killed my fair share of plants.
It's only been in the last 5 years that I've really developed a knack for taking care of plants and successfully maintaining a garden but I mostly contribute that to my overall lifestyle of slowing down which has allowed me the time to care for my plants and garden. We live on a big chunk of land so I have been able to develop and maintain a decent sized garden. I mainly grow herbs and a few vegetables which is just enough to feed our family.
Right now, I'm currently growing Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Lavender, Dill, Mint, Rosemary, Squash, Zucchini, Bell Peppers, and Tomatoes...quite a lot to handle! The herbs are relatively easy to maintain and only require frequent watering and occasional pruning which is easy since I'm constantly using them in my recipes. I keep several herbs potted on my patio for easy access and also keep them in my vintage chicken feeder garden so I always have a variety.
As for my main garden, I have tried several methods of gardening but find raised beds (see pic below) are the best for my yard and situation. I love having crushed granite surrounding my beds to help with weed and grass control. I love the cleanliness and "uncluttered" look of raised beds...that's the Type A, OCD side of me.
As for the best plants to grow... that depends on your environment and where you live. There are tons of websites where you can type in where you live and they show what plants are best in your "zone". For me, I live in Texas, and find Basil, Rosemary, Parsley and most herbs grow beautifully year round as long as you protect them from extreme droughts and freezes. I'm very adamant about watering my potted herbs every few days in the extreme Texas heat and my big garden has an automatic irrigation system so nothing gets too dry. For pesticide control, I plant Marigolds in my garden and use a non-toxic, organic bug spray for a repellant. I try to be vigilant about keeping the weeds under control and gather the ripe produce as often as I can...that's all I can do. Texas humidity and heat can be rough at times and my garden can suffer in the middle of July when it's 105 degrees but I do the best I can.
So I encourage to start your own big or little garden. Maybe start with a small rosemary or parsley plant and build from there. Don't put pressure on yourself that your garden has to be expansive or extremely plentiful. Do what works for your environment, expertise and capabilities and you can always add more at your own pace. For me, anything I grow and use in my cooking feels like a huge accomplishment and gives me satisfaction. Anytime I make a flavorful dish with produce or herbs from my garden and my family raves about it, I get a huge smile on my face and that encourages me to keep planting more. I have no doubt you will feel the same!