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Planning Your Garden

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Buying a Bird Feeder

Shiny, clanky, commercially available bird feeders have a lot going for them. First and foremost, they keep the seed fresh and dry. It can be snowing like mad, covering up your bird table and ground feeding [more…]

When to Plant Leafy Green Vegetables

Planting leafy green vegetables is easy, but it's all in the timing. Knowing when to plant greens (such as spinach, kale, and lettuce) depends on your climate and if the leaf vegetables are heat- or cold-tolerant [more…]

How to Use Annuals for Instant Color

Annuals are great for gardeners who want instant color and big impact. You can plant colorful annuals in the ground, in containers of all sizes, or fill small spaces that just need a touch of [more…]

How to Find Your Hardiness Zone with Maps

Hardiness zone maps help you determine which garden plants will thrive where you live. The various hardiness zone maps indicate minimum and maximum temperatures that plants can tolerate, or growing seasons [more…]

How Much Light Do Plants Need?

Every plant needs light to grow and flourish, but the right amount of sunlight varies. When choosing plants for your garden, look at the plant label to check its light requirements. No matter what light [more…]

How to Combine Color and Scent in an Annual Garden

Gardening encourages creativity. You can design annual beds in eye-catching color combinations or grow fragrant blossoms to enjoy. Annuals are great for colorful or scented bouquets for the house or for [more…]

How to Time Flowering Perennials for All-Season Color

Although some perennials bloom all summer long, just like your favorite annuals, others don't. They have a period of glory that peaks for a week or several weeks, and then the show subsides. With proper [more…]

Tips for Designing Perennial Beds and Borders

Perennials return each year to provide splashes of color and texture to garden beds and borders. Here are some basic garden layout tips and techniques used by professional garden designers that you can [more…]

Annual Gardens: How to Combine Plant Shapes and Sizes

Annual plants come in myriad sizes, shapes, and forms that enable you to experiment with new garden designs every year. Your garden annuals can be short, tall, spiky, mounding, full of flowers, beautifully [more…]

Solving Classic Garden Design Problems

When you plan your garden you have to start by assessing what you have. You want your garden to prosper in your climate and to pick plants that thrive in your soil. You must also take existing buildings [more…]

Plant Life Cycles and Garden Design

The life cycles of all the plants you choose for your garden play a large part in the garden's overall design. A plant's life cycle consists of the amount of time it takes for them to become mature enough [more…]

Garden Planning: How to Assess a Plant's Hardiness

When choosing plants for your garden, pay attention to its hardiness, which determines how well it handles climate extremes, such as cold and heat. Plant catalogs often use the term rather loosely to indicate [more…]

Where to Put Your Vegetable Garden

When deciding where to plant your vegetable garden, assess sun exposure, soil quality, and water access. Choosing a garden site that's best for growing vegetables is based on good old common sense, as [more…]

Choosing a Garden Theme

Designing a garden often goes beyond deciding which plants you want to grow and the type of function you want your garden to have. Thematic elements can also influence the look of a garden. Do you have [more…]

Tips for Designing a Garden Plan

Before you start planting, you need to create a garden plan. Start by using graph paper and drawing a plan of your garden site to scale. Plot every feature you find on your site, both natural and those [more…]

Gardening with Plants Made for the Shade

Don't fret if your garden gets more shade than sun; plenty of plants thrive in the shade. This chart names annuals and perennials that do well in the shade, so keep this list handy and you can decide which [more…]

Key Measurement Conversions for Gardening

Surprisingly, a great deal of measuring goes into garden planning. If you need to change between metric and English (U.S. standard) units, use this basic conversion chart to make sense of it all when planning [more…]

Gardening by USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

When choosing plants for your garden, select the plants best suited to your climate. Know your USDA hardiness zone and use this chart to determine the time and length of your growing season. [more…]

Gardening Basics For Dummies Cheat Sheet

To have the garden of your dreams, make sure you pick the right plants for your hardiness zone and select the right fertilizers for your plants. If your garden is shady, this Cheat Sheet offers a list [more…]

Canadian Gardening Frost Dates by Region

Canadian gardeners need to know when the growing season in their area begins and ends so they can avoid losing plants to frost. This chart provides frost dates across Canada. To be extra careful, plant [more…]

Tie Your Garden into the Local Ecosystem with Native Plants

The ideal environmentally sound garden has native plants and shrubs that thrive in your local climate. Native plants make the most of the local environment and bolster the local ecosystem. They don't need [more…]

How to Sketch a Landscape Plan

Think of your landscape plan as a tool to help you get a handle on the price tag of your project, establish your priorities, and make sure that all the separate parts of your landscape — the barbecue pit [more…]

How to Test Your Landscape Design

After you sketch your landscape design, you need to test it. Now, you get to play with a bunch of weird objects to make your landscape look alive. Pull your garden hoses out of their perpetual nest-of-snakes [more…]

Landscape Plan: Turn Your Front Yard into a Park

What do you want from your front yard? You may want shade trees and a big lawn that merges with the neighbors’. Or maybe you want a courtyard — an approach that has worked in Spain for hundreds of years [more…]

Landscape Plan: Create a Friendly Front Entry

Think of a front entry garden as your personal way of greeting visitors. This part of your yard is a personal statement, and it can reflect you — your favorite plants, touches of outdoor decoration, a [more…]

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