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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Diascia

Diascia

The delicate, peachy-pink flowers of diascia are something a little different. Found with increasing frequency in garden centers, diascia is a snapdragonlike flower gaining popularity because you can plant it so early in the spring. A perennial in the southernmost regions of the U.S., it's a cool-season annual elsewhere. Plant it a few weeks before your region's last frost for early fall color, especially in containers.

In the bed or border, diascia is an airy pick that ties other plants together. It blooms in a wide range of pink shades -- from cool, bubblegum pinks to warmer tones of peach, coral, and salmon. After it blooms in spring, cut it back. It is likely to stop blooming for a while once summer heat hits. When things cool off, it will rebloom. It has average water needs, so don't over- or underwater. Fertilize lightly but regularly.

Light:

Part Sun, Sun

Type:

Height:

1 to 3 feet

Width:

1-2 feet wide

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Zones:

8-9

how to grow Diascia

more varieties for Diascia

'Coral Belle' diasica
'Coral Belle' diasica
Diascia 'Coral Belle' has shiny foliage and coral blooms on 10-inch-tall plants.
'Flirtation Orange' diascia
'Flirtation Orange' diascia
Flirtation Orange Diascia is an extremely floriferous variety with great heat tolerance. It practically covers itself in orange blooms and grows 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide.
'Flirtation Pink' diascia
'Flirtation Pink' diascia
Flirtation Pink Diascia bears masses of pink flowers on a heat-tolerant plant that gets 12 inches tall and 20 inches wide.
'Sun Chimes Coral' diascia
'Sun Chimes Coral' diascia
Diascia 'Sun Chimes Coral' bears coral-pink blooms on spreading, 12-inch-tall plants.
'Whisper White' diascia
'Whisper White' diascia
Diascia 'Whisper White' bears pure-white flowers on 10-inch-tall plants.

plant Diascia with

Gerbera daisy
Gerbera daisies are so perfect they hardly look real. They bloom in nearly every color (except true blues and purples) and produce fantastically large flowers on long, thick, sturdy stems. They last for a week or more in the vase, making them a favorite of flower arrangers.This tender perennial will last the winter in only the warmest parts of the country, Zones 9-11. In the rest of the country, it is grown as an annual. It does well in average soil; it likes soil kept evenly moist but not overly wet. Fertilize lightly.
Snapdragon
Few gardens should be without the easy charm of snapdragons. They get their name from the fact that you can gently squeeze the sides of the intricately shaped flower and see the jaws of a dragon head snap closed. The blooms come in gorgeous colors, including some with beautiful color variations on each flower. Plus, snapdragons are an outstanding cut flower. Gather a dozen or more in a small vase and you'll have one of the prettiest bouquets around.Snapdragons are especially useful because they're a cool-season annual, coming into their own in early spring when the warm-season annuals, such as marigolds and impatiens, are just being planted. They're also great for fall color.Plant snapdragon in early spring, a few weeks before your region's last frost date. Deadhead regularly for best bloom and fertilize regularly. Snapdragons often self-seed in the landscape if not deadheaded, so they come back year after year, though the colors from hybrid plants will often will be muddy looking. In mild regions, the entire plant may overwinter if covered with mulch.Shown above: 'Rocket Red' snapdragon
Stock
Stock offers a wonderfully spicy, distinctive scent. Plant it in spring several weeks before your region's last frost date -- this annual thrives in cool temperatures and stops blooming once hot weather arrives. It's especially wonderful in window boxes and planters at nose level, where its sometimes subtle effect can best be appreciated.Stock is slightly spirelike and comes in a wide range of colors. It makes a great cut flower, perfuming bouquets as well as the border. It grows best in full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil.
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