Basic Principles of Pruning Woody Plants
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension's Basic Principles of Pruning Woody Plants Web page explains the why's behind pruning techniques. Understanding how plants respond to different types of pruning will help you determine how and when to prune your trees and shrubs. Filled with simple diagrams to illustrate the concepts, this Web page will give you the confidence to break out the pruners.
Favorite or New Plant
To me, the most important characteristics of an annual flower are beauty (of course), disease resistance, and tolerance for a range of conditions. African daisies fit the bill. This common name can refer to Arctotis, Osteospermum, and Dimorphotheca. Distinguishing which you have isn't important since they have similar traits -- they tolerate dry soils as well as both heat and light frosts, and they do well in containers. The flowers have very attractive satiny-shiny petals.
The plants I've grown have tended to be a little rangy and sprawling, so plant them where this characteristic won't be a problem. I like to plant the shorter varieties in a container where they cascade over the sides and soften the look of more "prim and proper" upright plants like salvias.