Holiday-Inspired Outdoor Decorating that Lasts

Dress up your front porch and yard with these holiday outdoor decorating ideas that last from the first days of fall through the New Year. They look great on a porch or just outside your door.

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Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas

Make the outside of your home as ready for the holiday season as the inside with these outdoor Christmas decorating ideas. Our holiday decorating ideas, including beautiful Christmas greenery, festive light displays, and more, are sure to get your yard Christmas-ready.

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Grow Beautiful Amaryllis

Amaryllis flowers are easy to grow from bulbs and great for adding color to your holiday decor.

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Deer-Resistant Shade Plants

Gardening in the shade where deer are plentiful can be a challenging situation. But there are plants that thrive in the shade that aren't tempting to hungry deer. Although no plant can be considered completely deer-resistant, here's a list of shade dwellers that most deer avoid. Plus, we've added some fun facts about deer that might help you understand them better.

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Shrubs with Winter Interest

A winter landscape has a beauty all its own. An unexpected plant feature -- winter blooms that perfume the air, bright berries, colorful or textured foliage or unusual bark -- add a welcome element to gardens. These winter shrubs will not disappoint.

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Tips for Moving Plants Indoors

Here's a handy guide for moving your favorite plants inside once the weather turns cold.

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How to Make a Kale Wreath

Elevate a common annual to regal stature in a lush, colorful wreath. Gather a few simple ingredients and you have the makings for a wreath that will last well into winter. As seen in Country Gardens Magazine.

As showy as any of fall's foliage, ornamental kale grabs attention throughout the season with its bright colors and ruffled, fringed, or scalloped forms. Known also as flowering kale, the leafy annual develops into plump, open rosettes. The ornamental varieties are edible but not as delicious as their large family of Brassica oleracea cousins, including flat-leaf Russian kale, cabbage, and collards.

For an autumn wreath, look for ornamental kale seedlings at nurseries and garden centers in late summer and early fall. If you plan ahead and start seedlings from a packet of seeds, you can make a wreath for a fraction of the cost. Sow seeds about 10 weeks before your anticipated first frost date.

Plant different varieties to achieve special effects with contrasting colors. Transplant seedlings into a living wreath form before the root balls grow too large to fit through the openings of the wire frame. The plants' usual size -- 8-12 inches in diameter -- will be somewhat limited when grown in a wreath frame.

Hang your wreath in partial to full sun. Take it down weekly to water the base thoroughly, and let it drain before rehanging. A wreath also can be used as a centerpiece. At the end of the season, remove the plants from the wreath base, and save the base for replanting with pansies or violas in late winter or early spring.


  • 14-inch-diameter living wreath form with a lid
  • Scissors
  • Sphagnum moss cloth
  • Ornamental kale seedlings
  • Moisture-holding potting mix
  • Florist's wire
  • Wire cutters

Step 1

Remove the lid of your living wreath form and set it aside. Use scissors to cut the moss cloth into 6x18-inch strips. Line the wreath form with the strips facing the moss side out and overlapping the ends.

Step 2

Moisten the plants' root balls and a bucket of potting mix. A moisture-retentive mix contains water-holding polymer crystals that help minimize watering. Fill the moss-lined wreath form with damp potting mix, mounding it. Fold the outer edges of the moss cloth over the mounded potting mix to cover. Add moss pieces as needed.

Step 3

Reattach the lid of the wreath form. If you use a wreath form without a lid, wrap florist's wire around the outside of the moss and frame to hold everything in place.

Step 4

Use scissors to cut one opening at a time in the moss cloth for each plant's root ball. Remove a plant from its nursery pot, squeeze the root ball to compact it, and tuck it into the opening in the moss. Push the root ball down into the potting mix. Add potting mix and moss pieces if needed to fill openings.

Step 5

Plant the face of the wreath in a clockwise manner, staggering the plants, then plant the perimeter. Leave growing room between the root balls. The plants will fill out and over the gaps withing a few weeks.


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