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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Popular in Gardening

Choosing the Right Perennials

There's a perfect one for every gardener.

Perennials win the garden popularity contest, hands down. They come in a potpourri of bloom times, plant sizes, leaf textures, and flower colors, so there's a perennial to please every gardener.

Best of all, perennials stage an Oscar-worthy garden performance that improves year after year. To get started on your own perennial paradise, see how we transformed turf into troops of blossoms.

Perennials are an affordable floral luxury that can be grown in any size garden, from the tiniest side yard to the longest border. For this article, we created a perennial garden in a 13- by 24-foot raised bed edged with a stone wall. The garden juts out into what was one large grassy area, creating a blooming focal point in the backyard lawn.

Unlike their here-today-gone-tomorrow annual flower cousins, perennials paint the garden with hues that grow richer through the years. Give your perennials a solid start with good soil preparation, adding organic material to your planting beds as needed. Seasonal maintenance tasks for perennials vary, from staking tall flower spikes to cutting plants back in fall or early spring to dividing crowded clumps of plants. Check with your local nursery for care guidelines specific to your region.

To design your perennial beds, review plant catalogs and garden books to find flowers you like. Narrow your wish list by selecting plants that fit your growing conditions. For season-long color, coordinate bloom times on paper before buying plants.

Remember that perennials are just as picturesque when planted with annuals, trees, dwarf conifers, flowering shrubs, or even vegetables. You don't need a large garden devoted solely to perennials to make an impact.

Learn how to combine annuals with perennials with our complete growing guide.

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