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:

See More

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.

View Slideshow

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.

View Video

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.

See More

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.

View Video

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.

View Video

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.

View Slideshow
Popular in Gardening

A Garden in the Mountains

This Colorado gardener didn't let cold temperatures, high elevation, or a small space stop her from creating a top-notch landscape.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Small-Space Beauty

      Jane Reed created a beautiful country-style garden behind her Colorado home. It's packed with a series of raised beds in a 14-x-24-foot area. She's chosen easy-growing plants that help keep her garden in bloom from May to October.

      Test Garden Tip: Raised beds are a perfect way to make gardening easier -- especially if you have clay, sandy, or rocky soil. Just fill the beds with good-quality topsoil and you don't have to worry about digging compacted soil or running into rocks.

    • Choose Easy-Care Plants

      Purple coneflower (Echinacea) is a perfect choice for high-altitude gardens. It blooms profusely all summer and doesn't mind tough weather conditions. Plus, it's a great cut flower.

      Test Garden Tip: It's always best choosing plants native to your region. They'll not only be some of the lowest-maintenance choices, but they'll also attract native birds and butterflies.

    • Be Bold with Color

      Jane uses lots of bold colors in her garden because she has to compete with the crystal-blue sky and gorgeous mountain scenery. The result is an eye-catching landscape that's every bit as beautiful as those mountain views.

      Test Garden Tip: Don't be too concerned about color. We hear from lots of gardeners who want help knowing what colors look good together and we always remind them that a garden is a reflection of the gardener. Plant what you like best!

    • Mix It Up

      Jane combines annuals, perennials, and even vegetables in her raised beds to fill them with color and texture. Here, tall pink cosmos combine beautifully with orange marigolds, purple veronica, cabbage, and flowering kale.

      Test Garden Tip: Planting densely like this can help keep weeds down in your garden. It's best to plant densely in dry-summer climates where fungal diseases are less of a problem, though.

    • Raised-Bed Smarts

      Raised beds like Jane's offer lots of advantages: They let you control the kind of soil you garden in, they warm up faster in the spring, and they prevent you from having to bend over as much. Plus, you can personalize their look to your landscape by using different materials to build them such as wood, stone, or brick.

      Test Garden Tip: For ease of maintenance, keep your raised beds about 4 feet across. That allows you to reach the middle from both sides so you never have to walk through your raised-bed gardens.

    • Look Up

      Jane uses some tall plants, such as these pink cosmos and yellow black-eyed Susans, to help draw the eye up and dramatize the mountain views. It's a little garden-design strategy that adds a lot to her yard.

      Test Garden Tip: Even if you don't have great mountain views, adding vertical accents with tall plants or structures (such as arbors or even free-standing columns) helps give your landscape an added dimension of interest.

    • Smart Plant Picks

      Cosmos is a great plant for Jane's garden. It blooms throughout the summer with very little care and will often self-seed, meaning new seedlings grow and bloom each year on their own. Plus, cosmos is a top-notch cut flower.

      Test Garden Tip: Here at the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden, we love pairing cosmos with blue salvia, purple angelonia, orange Mexican sunflower, and yellow zinnias.

    • Create Great Combinations

      Jane's an artist and she loves combining plants to show off their best characteristics. Here, purple and pink petunias bloom all summer and make a great contrast to spiky blue-green iris foliage. The combo offers extended bloom as the petunias pick up after the iris finishes.

      Test Garden Tip: If you're not sure about what plants to put together, try putting different varieties next to each other in your shopping cart at your local garden center. That gives you a chance to see if you'll like the combination before you have to plant them in the ground.

    • Enjoy Fragrance

      Jane's garden isn't all about good looks: She also grows plants with a pleasant scent, such as these sweet peas. Other fragrant bloomers include dianthus, lavender, lemon balm, lilacs, mint, oregano, peonies, Russian sage, sage, and shrub roses.

      Test Garden Tip: Place fragrant plants where you'll enjoy them most. For example, site herbs like rosemary, lavender, and sage next to a pathway where you'll brush by them and release their scent as you walk. Or plant fragrant annuals in window boxes or at container gardens next to your front door.

    • 10 of 12

      Employ Beautiful Foliage

      Flowering kale offers beautiful color to Jane's garden, especially at the end of the season. This beautiful plant is easy to grow and offers a range of colors of lavender to purple to white.

      Test Garden Tip: Variegated plants are some of the best choices for adding interest to the garden because they look good from spring to fall, regardless of when they bloom.

    • 11 of 12

      Enjoy Your Garden

      Jane's small-space, Zone 4 Colorado garden inspired us with its bountiful color. "There's absolutely no reason to sacrifice color for hardiness." We hope you got some great ideas from it, too!

      Test Garden Tip: Don't be afraid to take chances. Sometimes plants do better than you think they will. We've often been surprised by some of the plants that survive in our Zone 5 Test Garden.

    • 12 of 12
      Next Slideshow No-Fail Perennials of the Mountain West

      No-Fail Perennials of the Mountain West

      These old-fashioned plants are among the easiest you can grow. They're perfect for beginners or seasoned gardeners alike.
      Begin Slideshow »



    Loading... Please wait...