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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Best Flowering Trees and Shrubs

Flowering trees and shrubs are some of the best signs of spring, with their surefire color each year. Whether you love pink flowering trees, white flowering trees, or small flowering trees, we have the names of flowering trees to help you envelop your yard in blooms spring after spring.

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    • Eastern Redbud

      Eastern redbud is a small, handsome, multistemmed understory tree that reaches 20 to 30 feet with a 20- to 30-foot rounded crown. Early spring flowers are breathtaking, opening from a reddish purple in bud to a rosy-pink. The heart-shaped leaves emerge after the flowers. Fall color is sometimes an attractive yellow.

    • Southern Magnolia

      This Southern tree is widely planted for its beautifully fragrant, creamy-to-white spring flowers; large, shiny, evergreen leaves with a fuzzy underside; and red fruit in fall. It is a large tree, reaching 60 to 80 feet tall and 30 to 50 feet wide. Smaller cultivars are available. Plant it away from walks or pools, where its litter can be unsightly.

    • Flowering Dogwood

      Flowering dogwood is a spreading tree with horizontal branches that give it winter interest. Size varies with climate; a typical size is 20 to 40 feet tall and wide. The distinctive leaves turn to reddish-purple in fall. The late-spring true flowers are insignificant, but are surrounded by four attractive white or pink bracts. The fruit is glossy red in fall.

    • Forsythia

      Forsythia is a sunny harbinger of spring. Border forsythia is an upright, arching deciduous shrub that offers its bright yellow flowers in early spring. Some branches arch, while others shoot upwards. Use in an informal hedge or as a specimen in a border.

    • Pee Gee Hydrangea

      This is one of the hardiest and latest-blooming hydrangeas. It bears large, cone-shaped white flowers in summer that gradually turn reddish brown and persist into winter. Although it can reach up to 15 feet tall -- and be pruned as a tree -- more often it is under 10 feet tall.

    • Rhododendron and Azalea

      Rhododendrons and azaleas belong to the genus Rhododendron, and share many characteristics. Both groups thrive in well-drained acid soil and light shade. One point of difference is the shape of their flowers. Azaleas have funnel shaped blossoms, while rhododendrons have trumpet-shaped flowers. And although there are literally hundreds of species and varieties in the Rhododendron family, the most popular are noted the brilliance and quantity of spring flower display.

    • 'Anthony Waterer' Spirea

      'Anthony Waterer' spirea is probably the most widely grown cultivar of the most widely grown spirea. It is a reliable, compact, rounded shrub that requires almost no care. It matures to 2 to 4 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide. The carmine-pink flat-topped flower clusters are 4 to 6 inches wide and bloom in summer when little else does; they dry and persist into winter. New leaves are purplish, turning green, then pinkish in fall.

    • Shrub Rose

      Modern shrub roses, as distinct from classic shrub roses, are a family of rose hybrids first developed by David Austin in the 1970s. They are a cross of old garden roses with hybrid tea roses and other modern varieties. They combine the fragrance and form of old roses with the strength, hardiness, and long bloom season of modern hybrids.

    • Flowering Crabapple

      Japanese flowering crabapples are small to midsized trees ranging in habit from low mounds to upright, narrow, or weeping types. In spring, they are covered with fragrant white, pink, or red flowers, and in fall with small yellow, orange, or red apples. Many have attractive branching that's revealed in winter. Look for newer varieties that are disease resistant and that hold their fruit into the winter.

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      Glossy Abelia

      Abelia is a mounded shrub with arching red branches. Shiny, dark green leaves turn bronze in late fall. The leaves remain through the winter in warm regions, but fall off in colder areas in its range. The clusters of short, funnel-shaped pinkish flowers bloom from midsummer through autumn and are slightly fragrant. Abelia makes a good hedge, either clipped or unclipped.

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      Next Slideshow Japanese Maple Trees for Your Yard

      Japanese Maple Trees for Your Yard

      Japanese maple trees add grace and beauty through the seasons. While the Bloodgood Japanese maple is a tried-and-true specimen, consider some of our favorite varieties, including dwarf Japanese maple, that feature a spectacle of vibrant leaf color.
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