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

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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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Perennials for Damp & Dry Climates

Assess your area's moisture level before you pick your perennials.

Know Your Garden

Carefully consider the moisture conditions of the site you have chosen for your garden. Is it normal (as much as it's possible to define normal with today's chaotic weather), dry, or wet? Choose plants that do best in the prevailing conditions.

Next plan defensive measures to counteract a change in the moisture content. If the area you have chosen is dry, make sure the drainage is excellent. That way, even if there is excessive rain, the water should run off quickly. To increase drainage, dig out your garden bed to a depth of 1-1/2 to 2 feet and install a drainage pipe. This will immediately carry away any excess water. Then refill the bed with enriched, porous garden soil filled with organic matter, such as peat moss and humus.

If your proposed garden area is moist, make sure you have the means to retain the moisture. Your garden should either be near a water source where you can sprinkle the spot daily, or embedded with a soaker hose.

Or you can create your own miniature damp spot by following the techniques used to create garden pools. Simply install a container with a very small hole punched in it for slow drainage. After you've filled the container, the moisture should seep out of such a setting at a very slow rate.

A wonderful grower that can endure tough climates? Ornamental grasses; learn more by clicking here.

Perennials for Dry Climates

The following drought-tolerant plants grow well in a dry garden.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) Sun-loving flowers in white, yellow, or pink pastels on feathery, aromatic foliage.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberose) Bright orange flowers in full sun throughout summer.

Yellow Epimedium (E. x versicolor 'Sulphureum') Yellow flowers in early spring. Excellent for dry shade and poor soil.

Flowering Spurge (Euphorbia corollata) Small white flowers on top of elegantly slim foliage; best in full sun all summer.

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata) Showy yellow and red flowers throughout summer in full sun.

Showy Sedum (S. spectabile) Cool green succulent foliage, with late-summer bright pink flowers.

Perennials for Wet Climates

Some perennials thrive in constantly moist settings, such as bogs or marshes.

  • Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)
  • Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii)
  • Kamchatka Bugbane (Cimicifuga simplex 'White Pearl')
  • Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)
  • Bigleaf Ligularia (L. dentate)
  • Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
  • Japanese Primrose (Primula japonica)

Irises for Wet Conditions

Some lovely irises like wet conditions:

  • Louisiana irises (hybrids and species of Iris foliosa, I. fulva, I. gigantic-caerulea): Flowers in many colors.
  • Dorothea K. Williamson: A cultivar with wine-red blossoms; is the hardiest.
  • Yellow flag iris (I. pseudacorus): Bright yellow flowers in late spring, arching foliage wands.

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