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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Herbs in the Garden

For thousands of years, herbs have been enjoyed for their benefits -- as medicines, food, dyes, and insect repellents.


Thyme is a Mediterranean herb that thrives in poor soil. Here, five types, including the variegated lemon thyme, are growing together. Using pebbles as mulch keeps the crown from rotting.

Discover even more ways to add edible landscaping to your garden.


Calendula is also known as pot marigold or poor man's saffron. The flower petals, when chopped and added to rice or potatoes, add a bright yellow color and a flavor reminiscent of costly saffron.


Lavender is cherished for the clean scent of its flowers and leaves. The grayish evergreen leaves are attractive any time of year.


Sage, long believed to imbue wisdom, is essential seasoning for turkey stuffing. It is semievergreen with gray-green leaves. Yellow 'Icterina' is pictured here.

Herb vinegars make delicious non-fat salad dressings.

Herb vinegars are easy to make. Place culinary herb leaves (or edible flowers) in a clean bottle. Fill with a good-quality white wine vinegar. Let it infuse for several weeks. Sunlight will fade its color.

You can grow your favorite herbs in a windowbox, indoors our out.

Window boxes are perfect for growing a variety of culinary herbs close to the kitchen. Plant herbs with similar soil preferences together in one box.

Add a touch of nature to any table.

Containers of freshly cut herbs make lovely centerpieces or aromatic table arrangements. Let rosemary and lavender dry naturally; put others in water.

When planning a garden, it is helpful to know which herbs are perennial and which are annual.

Annual Herbs

  • Basil
  • Borage*
  • Calendula*
  • Cilantro*
  • Dill
  • Parsley

Perennial Herbs

  • Beebalm
  • Chives
  • Fennel*
  • Hyssop
  • Lavender
  • Lemon balm
  • Marjoram
  • Mints
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory (summer winter)
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

*Reseeds readily


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