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

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Drought-Tolerant Grasses

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How to Improve Garden Soil

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Top 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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Popular in Gardening

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Osteospermum

Osteospermum

Osteospermum adds instant cheer to spring and fall gardens with its colorful, daisy-shape flowers and dark green foliage. The blooms are wonderful for cutting and appear in a wide range of colors. In fact, it's such a striking plant that cut flowers sometimes look artificial!

The plant does best in full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil. It likes cool weather, so in hot-summer areas, it blooms best in spring and fall. Though grown as an annual in most parts of the country, it is perennial in Zones 10-11.

Light:

Part Sun, Sun

Type:

Height:

1 to 3 feet

Width:

1-2 feet wide

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Seasonal Features:

how to grow Osteospermum

more varieties for Osteospermum

'Flower Power Spider White' osteospermum
'Flower Power Spider White' osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Flower Power Spider White' shows off an abundance of daisy-shape blooms with unique spoon-shape petals. It grows 14 inches tall.
'Mara' osteospermum
'Mara' osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Mara' produces large blooms of apricot-tan petals that blend to a beautiful soft pink at the center. This compact selection grows 10 inches tall.
'Peach Symphony' osteospermum
'Peach Symphony' osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Peach Symphony' bears soft, peachy-coral flowers in spring and fall on drought-tolerant plants that grow 14 inches tall.
'Serenity Lavender Frost' osteospermum
'Serenity Lavender Frost' osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Serenity Lavender Frost' bears white flowers with a lavender-purple center on 14-inch-tall plants.
'Serenity Purple' osteospermum
'Serenity Purple' osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Serenity Purple' bears rich-purple flowers on mounding plants that grow 14 inches tall.
'Sideshow Copper Apricot' osteospermum
'Sideshow Copper Apricot' osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Sideshow Copper Apricot' bears soft apricot-orange flowers with a purple blush on a mounding, 1-foot-tall plant.
'Soprano Compact Purple' osteospermum
'Soprano Compact Purple' osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Soprano Compact Purple' bears purple flowers on drought-tolerant, compact plants that grow only 10 inches tall.
'Soprano Vanilla Spoon' osteospermum
'Soprano Vanilla Spoon' osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Soprano Vanilla Spoon' bears white flowers with spoon-shape petals on drought-tolerant, 2-foot-tall plants.
'Sunny Dark Florence' osteospermum
'Sunny Dark Florence' osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Sunny Dark Florence' bears orange flowers on a 12-inch-tall plant.
'Yellow Symphony' osteospermum
'Yellow Symphony' osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Yellow Symphony' bears golden-yellow flowers with purple centers on drought-tolerant, 14-inch-tall plants.
'Zion Plum' osteospermum
'Zion Plum' osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Zion Plum' is a strong-growing selection with blue-purple flowers in spring and fall. It grows 12 inches tall.
'Zion Sun Yellow' osteospermum
'Zion Sun Yellow' osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Zion Sun Yellow' is a vigorous selection with yellow flowers in spring and fall. It grows 12 inches tall.

plant Osteospermum with

Dianthus
The quintessential cottage flower, pinks are treasured for their grasslike blue-green foliage and abundant starry flowers, which are often spicily fragrant. Depending on the type of pink, flowers appear in spring or summer and tend to be pink, red, white, rose, or lavender, but come in nearly all shades except true blue. Plants range from tiny creeping groundcovers to 30-inch-tall cut flowers, which are a favorite with florists. Foliage is blue-green.Shown above: 'Firewitch' dianthus
Heliotrope
Even without its fabulous scent, heliotrope would be widely grown in the garden. It has a distinctive scent -- some say it smells like cherry pie; others say a grape Popsicle. Still others say it's reminiscent of vanilla. Regardless, it is undeniably one of the most intriguingly scented plants in the garden. As a bonus, this tropical plant, grown as an annual, bears big clusters of rich purple, blue, or white flowers.Heliotrope thrives in a spot with full sun and moist, well-drained soil. It's a great container plant -- try it in a window box or next to a doorway where you can enjoy it frequently. For the strongest scent, group several plants together where they can get afternoon sun. That warming sun releases the fragrance.
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
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