Western Mountains and High Plains
The Gardener's Weed Book: Earth-Safe Controls, by Barbara Pleasant (Storey Publishing, 1996; $14.95), is a good starter book to help identify the plants gardeners love to hate. Some 70 common weeds are included, with time-saving tips for weed management. You will even glean some ideas on how to put weeds to some practical uses.
Favorite or New Plant
Peonies are among the easiest and most long-lived perennials to grow. With just minimal care they will provide many years of enjoyment. My family has plants that go back 50 years or more. Plant them where they'll receive full sun daily. Light afternoon shade will prolong the bloom season and reduce the fading of the blooms. Give the plants plenty of room (3 to 4 feet) between plants.
Don't plant peonies too deeply. Keep them watered during dry spells, but don't allow the soil to become waterlogged. In spring peonies benefit from a topdressing of a slow-release fertilizer. Stake plants with tomato cages to keep the stems and foliage from drooping.