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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Popular in Gardening

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Japanese painted fern

Athyrium

One of the most elegant ferns available for your garden, Japanese painted ferns are washed with gorgeous silver and burgundy markings. Lady fern is equally elegant though not quite as showy. Either will add interest and texture to your shady spots. Closely related to each other, Japanese painted fern and lady fern are sometimes crossed with each other to create attractive hybrids.

Unlike most ferns, these toughies will tolerate dry soil. And they will tolerate some sun if they have ample water.

Light:

Part Sun, Shade

Type:

Height:

1 to 3 feet

Width:

1-2 feet wide

Foliage Color:

Problem Solvers:

Zones:

4-9

how to grow Japanese painted fern

more varieties for Japanese painted fern

Branford Beauty fern
Branford Beauty fern
(Athyrium 'Branford Beauty') is a plant with stunning upright silvery fronds with red stems. Zones 5-8
Crested Japanese painted fern
Crested Japanese painted fern
(Athyrium niponicum 'Applecourt') bears textural, crested fronds marked with silver and burgundy. Zones 5-8
Japanese painted fern
Japanese painted fern
(Athyrium niponicum pictum) is one of the best-known ferns. Its silvery fronds tinged with burgundy make an elegant container or garden accent. Zones 5-8
Lady in Red lady fern
Lady in Red lady fern
(Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady in Red') has distinctive red stems. Compared to most other ferns it is relatively tolerant of dry soil. Zones 4-9
Painted lady fern
Painted lady fern
(Athyrium 'Ghost') has silvery white fronds and an upright growth pattern. Plants reach 2 feet tall and produce new fronds all summer long. Zones 4-8
Silver Falls Japanese painted fern
Silver Falls Japanese painted fern
(Athyrium niponicum 'Silver Falls') has a pinkish red stems and reddish purple veins. It is most colorful with a few hours of sun per day. Zones 5-8
Tatting fern
Tatting fern
(Athyrium filix-femina 'Frizelliae') is a dwarf, 1-foot-tall plant with rounded ball-like leaflets attached to the main stem, resembling a lacy string of beads. It is a type of lady fern. Zones 4-8

plant Japanese painted fern with

Lady's mantle
Lady's mantle looks great in the garden and in a vase. Its scalloped leaves catch rain or drewdrops, making them look dusted with jewels. The chartreuse flowers appear in playful, frothy clusters above the foliage. Lady's mantle is ideal for softening the edge of a shaded path or creating a groundcover in dappled shade.
Lungwort
In early spring, the brilliant blue, pink, or white flowers of lungwort bloom despite the coldest chill. The rough basal leaves, spotted or plain, always please and continue to be handsome through the season and into winter. Planted close as a weed-discouraging groundcover, or in borders as edgings or bright accent plants, lungworts are workhorses and retain their good looks. Provide high-humus soil that retains moisture. Although lungwort tolerates dry conditions, be alert for mildew.
Ajuga
Ajuga is one of the most indispensable groundcovers around. It has many uses and looks great much of the year.Also known as carpetweed or bugleweed, ajuga forms a 6-inch-tall mat of glossy leaves that always seem to look neat and fresh. In many cases, the leaves are colored with shades of purple, white, silver, cream, or pink. Individual plants grow as a rosette, but they intertwine to form a solid carpet that withstands some foot traffic. Blue, lavender, pink, or white flower spikes adorn plants spring to early summer.Ajuga is great in rock gardens, in the front of beds and borders, under leggy shrubs or small trees, along paths, and just about any other place in the landscape you want to cover the ground with attractive foliage and little flowers.
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