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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Fast and Fabulous Ideas to Decorate Your Garden

Here are 31 garden design ideas to give your landscape a pick-me-up.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Spring Fiesta

      Add easy flair to your spring alfresco dining. Here's a super simple decoration: Drop a peony bloom into a margarita glass and top it with a tea light.

      Test Garden Tip: Don't want to bring your favorite glasses outside? Just grab some inexpensive glassware at your local dollar store.

    • Second Life for Tools

      Well-worn garden tools find new life when fastened together into a teepee for climbing plants. This inexpensive trellis instantly adds country charm to any garden.

    • Papasan Oasis

      Instead of a tree swing, how about hanging something more grown up (but equally fun)? This inverted papasan chair base serves as an innovative place to hang curtain panels, so you can create a sweet, shaded garden getaway.

    • Into the Looking Glass

      Add an optical illusion to create depth to your garden room by nestling a mirror in between plants. Just fasten it on a fence and watch how your space seems to double.

    • Alter Your Angle

      Look at everyday objects from new angles. Feed scoops turned upright, paired with candles in hurricane globes shed new light on garden illumination.

    • Y'all Come Back Now

      Garden-themed pieces such as this trowel doorknocker add charm and interest to your landscape. Watch for great deals at antiques stores and flea markets.

    • Frosty Luminaries

      These wintry votive holders are easy to make and add light to a snow-covered landscape. Created with flexible plastic bottles, poinsettia leaves frozen in the form give holiday color and offer a welcoming glow to guests.

    • DIY Cold Frame

      Salvaged windows become a charming cold frame with a little DIY-ingenuity. Use reclaimed wood to complete the sides and keep your costs down -- then protect tender sprouts with style.

    • Hovering Saucer

      A large terra-cotta saucer sits atop a tomato cage serving double-duty as a birdbath and trellis for climbing vines. To create an even more vibrant focal point, paint the saucer in your favorite color, or tie it into your garden's color scheme.

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      Revive a Garden Bench

      Give an old, worn bench new life as a planter. Here, a simple shelf built over the seat is a perfect place for a collection of container plants.

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      Revitalize a Path

      Rebar (or another heavy-duty metal rod) creates an uncommon archway entrance and gives climbing plants an unusual lift up. Think outside the arch for inexpensive materials at yard sales, Re-Stores, or from the depths of your garage.

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      Driftwood Delight

      Make a statement with uncommon materials in your garden. Some driftwood and DIY handiwork crafted this spectacular arbor.

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      Make Your Own Table

      This big container cracked. Instead of throwing it away, a resourceful homeowner turned it into a table, topping it with a concrete circle (though you could do the same with wood or flagstone).

      Test Garden Tip: Watch for deals on big pots like this -- retailers often mark them down dramatically or give them away when they break.

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      Throw Tiebacks to the Wind

      Decorative curtain tiebacks find a new purpose outdoors. Attach them to fences, gazebos, or decks to help direct your vines and climbing roses.

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      Decorate Your Fence

      Picket fences exude charm -- but you can make them even better with a little garden decor. Hanging a bouquet on it is the perfect way to add more interest and create a welcoming feel at your next garden party.

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      Make a Living Gate

      Create the most interesting entrance on the block with a living gate. Here, a large feed tank on casters provides privacy without blocking off this gardener's driveway.

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      Up, Up, and Away

      Who says your trellis has to look like everyone else's? This creative homeowner took premade cedar fence panels and attached them vertically with matching cedar planks, tying the trellis in to match her fencing.

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      Textural Refinishes

      Antique furniture pieces add quirky architectural interest to a country garden. This table and chair have been "refinished" in moss rather than fabric and provide plenty of dinner-table conversation.

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      Grate Ideas

      Antique metal vent covers, grates, and other indoor pieces move easily outdoors to add decorating interest to garden rooms of all types. This piece seems right at home hung on a wall of weathered paint.

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      Don't Fence Me In

      This old wire garden fence moves up in life. By fastening it to the porch soffit, the fence serves both as a trellis for climbers and as architectural interest on an older home.

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      Reuse a Fountain

      Many gardeners think a fountain is a perfect garden accent -- until it cracks or leaks. Then make it a charming planter for creeping plants such as sedum or thyme to spill over the edges and create the look of water.

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      Waving Whimsy

      Gardens don't have to be serious -- especially during special events such as parties and garden walks. Show your fun side with simple decorations like these colorful garden gloves that wave hello to visitors.

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      Ocean of Possibilities

      Get your creative groove on with some precast edging and a little paint. This homeowner saw a fish just dying to get out in the edging, so gave it a dash of color and set it free.

      Test Garden Tip: Use waterproof paint or a sealer so your masterpiece doesn't run after the first good rain.

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      Tucked Away in a Drawer

      Inside the house things often get lost in drawers, but in the garden they jump out. This old drawer attached to a bed footboard becomes an adorable "window box" planter with very little work or money.

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      Signature Touches

      Add some little touches, like this well-worn watering can attached to the picket fence, to put your signature on your garden. It also allows you more display options for well-loved collectibles that have served their purpose.

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      Treasure Trove

      Don't limit yourself to "appropriate" garden décor. Feel free to use all kinds of amazing treasures such as this vintage umbrella stand holding hand tools. Unexpected finds help your garden stand out.

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      Keep It Simple

      A simple design makes this garden feel more sophisticated. Pavers serve as both practical steppingstones and architectural interest. The well-thought-out plan makes the most of limited space.

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      Room With a View

      Make a simple garden room with preformed garden arches and outdoor-friendly curtain panels. This getaway sports a bed for mid-day naps, but would also be comfortable with Adirondack chairs or a cafe table set for elegant picnics.

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      Secret Spaces

      This homeowner utilized the narrow strip of land between houses to create an adorable courtyard. Even small, unattended bits of yard can become stunning, secret gardens.

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      Showcase a Collection

      Garden collectibles need not be displayed behind glass. This watering can collection becomes a visual point of interest in this garden. It's a double-threat: pretty and practical!

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      Hidden in Plain Sight

      Since you're stuck with it, here's a smart way to disguise that ugly utility box. A simple slipcover box made of bead board and topped with a birdhouse covers up the eyesore and draws nature into your yard.

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      Next Slideshow Vertical Garden Ideas

      Vertical Garden Ideas

      Gardening is a pastime appreciated by many, but what if tight quarters keep you from a sprawling green garden? It's time to start thinking vertically when it comes to your gardening projects this season, and -- lucky for you and your green thumb -- the options for executing your new vertical garden only go up from here! Get inspired by these clever vertical garden ideas.
      Begin Slideshow »



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