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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Economical Front-Yard Landscape

This front-yard landscape plan combines economical plants and materials that make a big impact in a short time.

This two-story home sits on a 95-foot wide lot and features a 51-feet-deep front yard. The landscape design uses quick-growing, easily obtainable plants to provide quick color and texture. To keep costs down, only a few hardscape elements were added.

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Driveway

Along the driveway, bark mulch, lava rock, or washed stones can be used as an edging material to add contrast to the yard. For a lighter color, substitute limestone chips. Boulders provide mass to fill in sparse spaces while plants become established. Their even spacing mimics the hard lines of the house.

On the far side of the driveway, under a Washington hawthorn tree, inexpensive terra-cotta pots filled with colorful annuals sit among permanent plantings of blue fescue, black-eyed Susan, red-hot poker, and burning bush. For a different look, substitute wooden buckets, or other createive containers scavenged from thrift stores.

The Entry

A neatly trimmed barberry hedge wraps around the entry area and offers interest throughout the year, even in winter. Lilyturf and burning bush planted nearby also have multiseason appeal.

To the left of the front door, a simple trellis constructed of 4x4s and stainless steel cables decorates the bare wall. The purple clematis vine on the trellis helps connect the entryway to the rest of thegarden.

To the right of the door, a pair of 6x6 posts support simple board shelves holding potted plants. This helps define the entryway and hide the ugly side of the stairs.

Foundation Garden

Curved beds draw attention away from the house and break up the linear feeling of the architecture. The bed is edged in lilyturf (substitute dwarf daylilies north of Zone 6) and populated with reliable, long-blooming perennials like black-eyed Susan and red-hot poker, and shrubs like burning bush, Japanese spirea, yew, and cutleaf staghorn sumac.

In the foreground, a fast-growing tree, such as a silver maple, willow, cottonwood, or pin oak provides quicker-than-average shade and a more mature look. The trade-off: such trees tend to be messy and short-lived.

In the background, a simple board fence provides privacy for the backyard at less expense than a more decorative fence.

See more: A mid-priced front yard landscape plan

See more: A premium front yard landscape plan

Driveway

  • Along the driveway, bark mulch, lava rock, or washed stones can be used as an edging material to add contrast to the yard. For a lighter color, substitute limestone chips. Boulders provide mass to fill in sparse spaces while plants become established. Their even spacing mimics the hard lines of the house.
  • On the far side of the driveway, under a Washington Hawthorne tree, inexpensive terra-cotta pots filled with colorful annuals sit among permanent plantings of blue fescue, black-eyed Susan, red-hot poker, and burning bush. For a different look, substitute wooden buckets, or other createive containers scavenged from thrift stores.

Entry Area

  • A neatly trimmed barberry hedge wraps around the entry area and offers interest throughout the year, even in winter. Lilyturf and burning bush planted nearby also have multiseason appeal.
  • To the left of the front door, a simple trellis constructed of 4x4s and stainless steel cables decorates the bare wall. The purple clematis vine on the trellis helps connect the entryway to the rest of the garden.
  • To the right of the door, a pair of 6x6 posts support simple board shelves holding potted plants. This helps define the entryway and hide the ugly side of the stairs.
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