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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Tall and imposing, this wildflower has become gentrified. Many hybrid forms have been selected with large saucer-shaped flowers and showy stamens. Some have soft woolly leaves. Small sorts do well in rock gardens and troughs, but taller varieties show off well in perennial or mixed borders, and among shrub plantings. They tolerate most soils well, but not wet feet. Cut back after the first flush of bloom for later spikes to develop.





Under 6 inches to 8 feet


6 inches-2 feet wide, depending on variety

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Common mullein
Common mullein
Verbascum thapsus is a biennial often found growing wild in fields and ditches. The yellow flowers are borne at the tips of 6-foot-tall stems. The leaves are gray-green, fuzzy, large, and thick. Zones 3-9
Olympic mullein
Olympic mullein
Verbascum olympicum grows an impressive 6-8 feet tall when in bloom. The first year, it produces a rosette of silvery-gray foliage, which persists through the winter. The following year, it sends up branched candelabra of yellow blooms. Olympic mullein may die after blooming, but it usually self-sows to come back in future years. Grow in well-drained soil. Zones 5-11
'Southern Charm' mullein
'Southern Charm' mullein
Verbascum 'Southern Charm' is a seed-propagated variety that bears spikes of flowers in shades of lavender, rose, cream, or buff. Peak bloom occurs in late spring, but the plant may bloom sporadically throughout the summer. It is a short-lived, self-seeding perennial that often blooms the first year from seed. Zones 5-8
'Summer Sorbet' mullein
'Summer Sorbet' mullein
Verbascum 'Summer Sorbet' bears hot-raspberry-pink blossoms on 24-inch-long stems. It is one of the most floriferous mulleins and continues to bloom all summer if it is deadheaded. The plant grows 12-15 inches wide. Zones 5-9
White nettle-leaved mullein
White nettle-leaved mullein
(Verbascum chaixii 'Album') has saucer-shaped white flowers accented with rosy purple stamens. These are carried on long spires, sometimes branched. The woolly stems rise to 3 feet. It is hardy in Zones 5-9.

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Yarrow is one of those plants that give a wildflower look to any garden. In fact, it is indeed a native plant and, predictably, it's easy to care for. In some gardens, it will thrive with almost no care, making it a good candidate for naturalistic plantings in open areas and along the edges of wooded or other wild places.Its colorful, flat-top blooms rise above clusters of ferny foliage. The tough plants resist drought, are rarely eaten by deer and rabbits, and spread moderately quickly, making yarrow a good choice for massing in borders or as a groundcover. If deadheaded after its first flush of blooms fade, yarrow will rebloom. If left to dry on the plant, flower clusters of some types provide winter interest. Flowers of yarrow are excellent either in fresh or dried arrangements.
Miscanthus is one of the most prized of ornamental grasses, and one particular cultivar, 'Morning Light', sums up much of its appeal: This grass is stunning when backlit by the sun, either rising or setting.Statuesque miscanthus makes dense clumps of arching grassy foliage in an assortment of widths, decoration, and fineness, according to variety. Erect, dramatic plumes of flower spikelets rise among the leaves or well above them and last beautifully through the winter. Site miscanthus with good drainage and plenty of space in sun or light shade.
Daylilies are so easy to grow you'll often find them growing in ditches and fields, escapees from gardens. And yet they look so delicate, producing glorious trumpet-shape blooms in myriad colors. In fact, there are some 50,000 named hybrid cultivars in a range of flower sizes (the minis are very popular), forms, and plant heights. Some are fragrant.The flowers are borne on leafless stems. Although each bloom lasts but a single day, superior cultivars carry numerous buds on each scape so bloom time is long, especially if you deadhead daily. The strappy foliage may be evergreen or deciduous.Shown above: 'Little Grapette' daylily

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