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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    • Bird-Friendly Garden

      A garden rich with food sources and nesting sites is an ideal year-round habitat for songbirds. Cotoneaster, viburnum, and other shrubs produce fruits that are relished by birds throughout the growing season. Coneflowers and black-eyed Susans offer their seedheads in fall. This garden can be planned around an existing shade tree in place of the October Glory maple. It includes plants for both sun and shade.

    • Spring Rock Garden

      This garden plan calls for low-lying, colorful plants with a mixture of blooming dates to last you the whole year through -- bergenia, primrose, iris, snow-in-summer, Icelandic poppy, Delta and Nonstop pansies -- ranging in colors of blue, pink, yellow, white, and lavender. Plant your garden in full sun and watch your ajugas, phlox, and arabis bloom in the spring while the pansies and the Icelandic poppy bloom all year.

    • Summer Rock Garden

      This plan is much like the Spring Rock Garden, only for summer. Add rocks from big to small, colorful to plain. This garden includes perennials such as snow-in-summer in a bright white as well as Dusseldorf Pride thrift in pink, Septemfida bentian in blue, and Sunray coreopsis in a happy yellow. Plants range in height from a half foot to a foot and a half still standing low to the ground.

    • Cottage Garden

      Capturing the old-fashioned charm of an English cottage garden, this border planting is lush, colorful, and full of familiar favorites, such as hollyhocks, roses, daisies, and peonies. In true cottage-garden style, it mixes perennials, shrubs, and bulbs. One section of the garden hugs the house's foundation, and a rose-covered arbor leads to the side yard. If you place this garden in a corner where there is no need for a walk-through arbor, you may eliminate the arbor and flagstone path and, in their place, plant another 'Annabelle' hydrangea or a 'Miss Kim' lilac. Plant this garden where is receives at least six hours of sun daily.

    • Walk to Front Door 1

      First impressions are important! This entry garden greets your guests with beauty in all four seasons. A fragrant viburnum, evergreen boxwoods, and a small flowering tree create the backdrop for long-blooming perennials. Across the walk, annual flowers and spring bulbs mingle in a narrow strip. Your own front walk may not match the shape of this curved walkway, so feel free to adapt the plan to your front yard's configuration. This garden needs a half day or more of sunlight, making it suitable for houses that face east, south, or west.

    • Walk to Front Door 2

      The addition of flowers brings life to an unimaginative row of shrubs and turns the front walk into a garden path. Low-growing potentilla, a ground cover, is tucked between the existing foundation shrubs. A variety of bulbs and perennials, many with long, blooming seasons, fill a bed on the other side of the walk. The curving edge of the flower bed softens the angularity of the concrete walk. Give this garden six hours or more of sun daily.

    • Large Sunny Summer Border

      Start with a large sunny border and get ready to have some fun with color. This garden plan consists of an arrangement of several perennials and annuals. The colors vary from grays and whites to pinks, yellows, reds, lavender, and blue. Lounge in the sun and enjoy your sweet williams, achilleas, Shasta daisies, veronicas, rhubarb, bachelor's buttons, marigolds, and verbenas.

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      Next Slideshow Small-Garden Plans and Ideas

      Small-Garden Plans and Ideas

      Add big color to your compact landscape with our collection of ideas for small garden plans.
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