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:See More
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.View Slideshow
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.See More
Look to these wonderful annual plants if you want to grow your own cut flowers.
Ageratum dependably produce clusters of small, fluffy blooms in white, blue, or lavender from early summer through fall. Varieties range in height from 6 to 30 inches tall. Taller types are very good cut flowers. Grows well in sun, or in partial shade in hot, dry climates.
An old-fashioned favorite annual in cottage gardens, bachelor's button is easy to grow and adaptable, producing beautiful, frilly, single, semidouble, and double blooms in white, blue, pink, or purple. Blooming in early summer to midsummer and intermittently to early frost, it is excellent for cutting and drying.
Bearing tall stems of spurred flowers, larkspur is an annual cousin of the magnificent perennial delphinium. The blue, white, lilac, pink, or peach flowers emit a light scent and are held above a mass of lacy, dark green foliage. They are wonderful cut flowers. Larkspur can grow to 4 feet tall, so it's a good plant to add to the back of a garden or along fences or walls.
These old-fashioned favorites, members of the genus Dianthus, are grown for their pink, white, or red spicy fragrant flowers and their often-evergreen clumps or mats of gray-blue, grassy leaves. Taller types are excellent for cutting. Dianthus includes both annual and perennial types, with the perennial types suited to Zones 3 to 9.
These tender bulbs are planted starting in spring, then every few weeks to ensure continuous bloom. An elegant flower, glads have tall spikes crowded with ruffled flowers that face the same direction and open from the bottom of the stem up. In cold climates, the bulbs (technically called corms) must be dug up and stored in a cool location that will not freeze.
Annual sunflowers are a mainstay in North American gardens. This native annual is grown for its beautiful flowers and edible seeds. While the most recognizable sunflower has a ring of golden yellow petals around a huge brown center on a very tall stalk, many more subtle varieties have been developed that vary in both size and color, including white, orange, and deep red varieties.
Prized for their pretty, intensely fragrant flowers, most sweet peas are grown as cool-season annual vines, reaching 4 to 6 feet tall, but some are bushy 1- to 3-foot-tall dwarfs. All produce lovely clusters of 1-inch long, pea-type flowers in white, light orange, yellow, lavender, blue, red, purple; some produce bicolor flowers. Longer-stemmed types are classic cut flowers.
A garden cool-season annual favorite for its strong, sweet-and-spicy scent, stock is an old-fashioned cut flower. Double flower types form solid spires of blossoms while single forms are wispy. The tall column types are usually available only as cut flowers from florists and need five months of temperatures below 65 degrees F. Dwarf types grow just 8 to 15 inches and tend to be more heat-tolerant.