10 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Gardening

You might not believe it, but you were born with a green thumb. It may have gone untended for a while, but it's there waiting for you to nudge it awake. Put away your theory of being a plant killer, that anything dies under your care. Forget those nagging thoughts of where your garden will live or when you'll find the time, it's there somewhere. It doesn't have to cost a fortune and you'll get more than you give. So, here are 10 tips for conquering your fear of gardening:

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Gardening Tips for Renters

Want to bring more green to your house or apartment? Using a few easy, inexpensive techniques, <a href="http://www.thehorticult.com/">The Horticult</a> shows how you can garden like you own the place -- without risking your security deposit. You don't have to own your home to create a garden that reflects your personal style. Grow your favorite plants and create an inspired landscape -- or patio, interior, or balcony -- using these fun, low-commitment methods. (Although you might want to check with your landlord about the larger projects!) And if you move, you can take it all with you. These 10 tips for renters will give your garden a new lease on life.

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Summer Checklist

Summer is a gardener¿s busiest season. If you¿re short on time or not sure what to do, follow this easy summer gardening checklist to keep your lawn and garden in great shape all season long.

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Drought-Tolerant Grasses

Drought! The word itself strikes fear into the hearts of gardeners everywhere. Scarce water resources, especially in hard hit areas such as California and Texas, are making it almost impossible to maintain traditional style lawns. That's why many people are replacing their lawns with groundcovers and native plants. But for those who want a lush green lawn, here are some less-thirsty options.

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How to Improve Garden Soil

Many homeowners inherit bad garden soil ¿ but you don¿t have to live with it! Learn how to get the best garden soil possible through amendments, composting, and more.

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Top Shade Perennials

Shade plants are perfect for those tough spots in your yard. Learn about the best shade-loving perennials, including flowering shade perennials, partial shade perennials, and full-shade perennials.

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Landscape Ideas

Landscape ideas provide inspiration, and studies show that upgrading your landscape will add value to your home. Here are some great landscape ideas to improve your home's outward appeal.

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Designing a Pastel Garden

Learn how to use pastel color combinations to create a garden that is restful and relaxing.

Pastel varieties of annual poppies and phlox, along with white delphinium and fragrant lavender, make a strong statement in this border.

Pastels gain their soft glow from the white added to the bold parents. Pale pinks, blues, lavenders, and yellows light up shady places. In gloomy climates, pastels shine. In sunnier climes, they offer visual refuge and a calming influence.

Pastels radiate most strongly in indirect light and on overcast days. Consider planting the subtle colors where the morning or evening light lingers. Swathes of pale-color flowers guide the way along a moonlit garden path. They brighten areas, such as a patio or deck, where you're likely to spend evening hours relaxing. Your palette can include more than flowers. The gleam of a pale tree trunk or silver leaves emanating light has just as much impact in a pastel garden's magic.

Against the backdrop of a brick wall or a dark, unpainted fence, pastel flowers gleam. They create a spotlight when planted around a focal point in the garden, such as statuary or a fountain, especially when viewed from a distance.

Related Slide Show: Best Pink Flowers for Your Garden

The delicate hues of Mexican primrose form a powerful contrast with spiky agave in this dessert garden.

An entire contingent of peacemaking pastel colors tends to appear tepid when planted together. Add a little visual friction in the form of contrasting colors, along with framing greens and silvers, to separate the pastel shades.

Pastel flowers often offer alluring fragrance. Many flaunt sweet scents that announce the flowers' availability to insect and bat pollinators. Add pale-color roses, lilacs, magnolias, and honeysuckle to your garden schemes and enjoy their perfume as you stroll through the garden.

Related Feature: Free Garden and Landscape Plans

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