Projects need various levels of approval in different areas. If you're planting a perennial bed in your backyard and aren't altering any existing structures, you generally don't need governmental approval. Notice I said "generally"-the Garden Doctor wouldn't want to get you (or your neighbor) in trouble with your local officials. In some places, for example, a freestanding garden structure that doesn't connect to an existing building doesn't require building permission. But that's not the case everywhere. The best thing to do is ask your city or county government what sorts of structures or garden changes need planning approval. Also, you may live in a development or other area that has a neighborhood association that has to approve any changes to the exterior of your home. Check local covenants. Keep your neighbors abreast of any changes you plan so they aren't surprised when the project begins-especially if the results may somehow affect their property by altering water drainage, creating or reducing shade, or altering views.