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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Flowering kale

Brassica oleracea

Thank goodness for kale. It's one of the few plants available to add a fresh burst of color and life to the fall landscape! Its leaves come with beautiful variegations in pinks, purples, and reds that blend beautifully with changing autumn foliage. Plant it in spring or in the fall after you tear out tired or frost-damaged annuals such as marigolds and impatiens. It likes rich, well-drained but moist soil.

Shown above: 'Red Pigeon' flowering kale

Light:

Part Sun, Sun

Type:

Height:

1 to 3 feet

Width:

12-18 inches wide

Foliage Color:

how to grow Flowering kale

more varieties for Flowering kale

'Chidori White' kale
'Chidori White' kale
Brassica 'Chidori White' offers blue-green heads with large, bright creamy-white centers.
'Peacock Red' kale
'Peacock Red' kale
Brassica 'Peacock Red' offers feathery leaves with rich purple-red centers.
'Pigeon Red' kale
'Pigeon Red' kale
Brassica 'Pigeon Red' offers purple-tinted leaves with rich purple-red centers.
'Redbor' kale
'Redbor' kale
Brassica 'Redbor' offers ruffled leaves in a rich, dark purple shade that mixes well with just about everything.

plant Flowering kale with

Leadwort
For a fall show, plant leadwort. Its gentian-blue late-season flowers often continue to bloom even as the foliage turns brilliant red-orange in fall, making an outstanding autumn display.This plant is also sometimes called plumbago, but it's different from shrubby tropical plumbago. Use it as a groundcover that spreads well when in conditions it likes -- dry sites in full sun to partial shade.
Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemums are a must-have for the fall garden. No other late-season flower delivers as much color, for as long and as reliably as good ol' mums. Beautiful chrysanthemum flowers, available in several colors, bring new life to a garden in the fall. Some varieties have daisy blooms; others may be rounded globes, flat, fringed, quill shape, or spoon shape. They work exceptionally well in container plantings and pots. Learn more about using mums for a fall-flowering garden.
Pansy
From tiny, cheerful Johnny jump-ups to the stunning 3-inch blooms of Majestic Giant pansies, the genus Viola has a spectacular array of delightful plants for the spring garden. They're must-haves to celebrate the first days of spring since they don't mind cold weather and can even take a little snow and ice!They're pretty planted in masses in the ground, but also cherished for the early color they bring to pots, window boxes, and other containers. By summer, pansies bloom less and their foliage starts to brown. It's at this time that you'll have to be tough and tear them out and replant with warm-season annuals, such as marigolds or petunias. But that's part of their charm -- they are an ephemeral celebration of spring!
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