How to Get Blue Hydrangeas

If you love blue flowers (and who doesn't?), one of the most popular must-have plants for your garden is hydrangea. These versatile shrubs produce giant ball-shape flowers that look stunning in the landscape surrounding your home, as specimen plants in your garden, and make gorgeous (and easy!) bouquets.

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Flowering Perennials from Spring to Fall

Turn your garden into a color show spring through fall. Here are 17 easy-to-grow flowering perennials.

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Garden Pictures That Inspire

Garden pictures can provide inspiration. Browse our gallery of garden pictures, including landscape garden pictures, to find the picture of a garden that will give you your perfect landscape.

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Growing Lilies and Daylilies in Your Garden

Daylilies and lilies are two big-impact, easy-to-grow plants for your summer garden.

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How to Grow Potatoes

Growing potatoes is easy, and you'll find the taste of homegrown potatoes much better than that of store-bought versions. You can grow potatoes in just a few easy steps. Learn how to grow potatoes, as well as how to harvest them for maximum flavor.

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Living in a space-challenged urban environment shouldn't stop you from enjoying fresh air. Check out these great ideas from some amazing city landscapes.

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How to Get Beautiful Texture in Your Garden

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Thinning and Deadheading

Keep your garden looking pretty and orderly by regularly thinning and deadheading.

Garden phlox is susceptible tomildew, especially when the plantsare growing in dense clumps.

Thinning and deadheading are two measures that add to the good looks of your garden. Thinning refers to selectively eliminating plants or stems. The end result is a more attractive and healthier garden.

As you thin and deadhead, be on the lookout for seeds you might save. Click here to learn the basics.

To reduce the threat of mildew, improve air circulation by thinning out dense strands of phlox. Cut some stems to the ground.

If your garden contains mildew-prone perennials, such as phlox and beebalm (Monarda didyma), you must ensure adequate air circulation to deter the formation of the fungus. This is simply a matter of periodically cutting enough stems to the ground so that the remaining ones are not crowded. Such surgery in no way harms the plant. Thinning must be done regularly, however, because once mildew sets in it is hard to control without resorting to chemicals.

One easy way to thin plants is to inspect new shoots in the spring. If -- as is often the case with phlox -- they appear crowded together, simply cut out the woody center of each clump.

Do not simply pick off the oldflower heads, or the plants willbe left with unattractive barestems.

Deadheading is a grim-sounding term that describes cutting off the unattractive dead heads of flowers in your beds and borders. While deadheading is not essential, it certainly provides great rewards by prolonging the bloom period of most plants, preventing self-seeders from seeding, and ensuring a freshness and neatness in the garden.

Most plants are genetically programmed to produce seeds. Once seed is produced, the plant's function is completed and it can appropriately wither or simply settle in as a foliage plant. If you cut the flower before the seed sets, however, the plant must produce another flower in order to fulfill its goal. The glory of modern breeding is the creation of sterile cultivars; these literally do not know how to stop producing flowers. If you wish to reduce deadheading in your perennial garden, choose sterile cultivars.

Deadheading Your Garden

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