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:See More
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.View Slideshow
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.See More
Add evergreens to your yard to create a year-round show. Get ideas for how to landscape with these plants.
There are hundreds of varieties of evergreens. While many grow into massive specimens, dwarf selections -- such as this bird's nest spruce (Picea abies 'Nidiformis') -- are perfect for planting in beds and borders. Try them between brightly colored plants to give your eyes a visual break.
Because they keep their foliage all winter, low-growing evergreens are perfect for planting around your foundation to hide it all year.
Test Garden Tip: Make a bold statement by selecting varieties that offer different shapes and colors, but stay compact so they don't outgrow their space. 'Blue Shag' white pine, 'Montgomery' blue spruce, and 'Silver Whispers' Swiss stone pine are smaller selections that combine beautifully with 'Profusion White' zinnia, for example.
One of the most common ways to use evergreens is as a screen in the landscape. Tall, columnar varieties of arborvitae, yew, and juniper are great for small spaces. If you have room, be sure to include broadleaf evergreens, such as rhododendrons, as well.
Give your beds and borders a beautiful background with evergreens. Choose tall varieties that have dark green foliage to accentuate bright colors. Or select cultivars with colorful foliage (such as the blue spruce shown here) to add interest to your plantings.
Test Garden Tip: Pay attention to plant shapes. Tall, upright evergreens (such as narrow 'Iseli Fastigiate' blue spruce and 'Medora' juniper) create wonderful contrasts with mounded perennials and grasses, for example.
Plant four modest-size upright evergreens -- such as dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica') -- in a square to create a garden room. Even if you don't enclose the area with shrubs or other plants as walls, it will feel more intimate and inviting.
Boxwood, yew, and juniper take well to tight pruning. Take advantage of this and clip them into fun shapes to add a bit of whimsy to your yard. A low boxwood hedge becomes fun with a mounded corner. Or try spirals (as this variegated boxwood has been pruned) and other shapes.
Plant artistically sheared evergreens (such as the junipers shown here) on both sides of your gate or along a path to give an entry a bolder, more formal feeling. They'll take yearly pruning to keep their swirly shape, but the effect is worth the effort.
One sure way to highlight the fall colors in your yard is to pair them with evergreens. Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii), Korean fire (Abies koreana 'Horstmann Silberlocke'), and dwarf blue spruce (Picea pungens 'Corbet'), for example, looks smashing against bold reds and oranges. And bright yellows practically sing next to a dark green background.
Big, bold evergreens can be perfect container garden plants if you have a large container. This Austrian pine, for example, adds a dash of color (and privacy) to a rooftop garden -- but you can get the same effect on a deck, patio, balcony, or even along a wide driveway.
Keep cold winter winds from pulling all the heat from your home with a windbreak. Plant evergreen trees on the north or east side of your home and watch your savings grow.
Choose a particularly stunning evergreen (such as golden 'Chief Joseph' pine, contorted 'Emerald Twister' Douglas fir, or white-variegated 'Horstmann's Silberlocke' Korean fir) and treat it as a specimen plant in your landscape. Selections such as these are so eye-catching they don't need neighbors.
Your front yard will shine all year long if you fill it with a collection of evergreens. Choose varieties with different forms, colors, and textures and you'll put on a show without a single bloom.
Save yourself hours of effort every week by planting a collection of evergreens (such as this mass of 'Blue Rug' juniper) on a hard-to-mow slope. They'll keep it looking good all year long, stop erosion, and smother most weeds so you can just sit back and enjoy the view.