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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Make Your Own Concrete Planters

Transform molds from your pantry and easy-to-use concrete into a variety of planters that will add texture and charm to your outdoor spaces.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Let Spring Blooms Add Color Contrast

      Concrete planters are made using a small container and a large container as molds. How far you push in the interior container will affect the thickness of the walls of your finished concrete planter. Once finished, the foliage and bright blooms of your plants create vivid contrast with the textured gray container.

      These projects are excerpted from Concrete Garden Projects, by Malin Nilsson and Camilla Arvidsson (Timber Press, available through

    • Oil the Larger Container First

      To make a concrete planter, choose two containers to use as molds. Use a paintbrush to thoroughly coat the inside of the larger mold with cooking oil.

    • Oil the Outside of the Small Interior Container

      Use a paintbrush to thoroughly coat the outside of the smaller mold with cooking oil.

    • Fill with Concrete

      Fill the larger mold with concrete to about 1 inch from the top. Shake to eliminate air bubbles; level the surface.

    • Press the Small Mold Into the Large Mold

      Push the smaller mold into the center of the concrete, leaving an adequate thickness for the bottom of the planter.

    • Weight the Mold

      Place a weight in the smaller mold and let the concrete set for 24 to 48 hours.

    • Remove the Molds and Smooth the Concrete

      Gently remove the molds. Smooth rough and sharp edges with a stone or file.

    • Make a Variety of Shapes with Concrete

      Choose container shapes that complement your garden's style, and make sure plants will have a suitable container in which to thrive. Drill drainage holes into your planters after the concrete has set, or place a cork or piece of foam in the bottom when forming the pots. When you water concrete planters, they will darken, then lighten as they dry.

    • Put Concrete to Use in Multiple Ways

      Because candleholders typically are small, they are good practice projects for working with concrete. Try using empty yogurt containers or margarine tubs as molds. Before the concrete for a candleholder sets, oil a candle and insert it in the concrete to get the right fit. (Clean the oil off the candle before lighting.)

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      Use Concrete to Accent Garden Style

      Concrete DIY planters are extremely adaptable in terms of style: Use fluted forms to fit with cottage-inspired garden furniture, or choose straight lines and geometric shapes for a more modernistic look. Plant with a few bulbs for early blooms in springtime; transition to colorful annuals in summer and autumn. Be sure to push your interior mold down far enough so the inside gives plants room to root. If you don't want to see the soil in the planter, use small rocks as a mulch to complement the concrete material.

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      Create a Concrete Birdbath

      To create a birdbath rather than a planter, use a wide, shallow interior container. For a more organic form, simply press a shallow impression into the concrete. For regular patterning, select a few similarly shaped rocks; oil them and press them into the wet concrete. Look for castoff bits to use as decoration, such as small mirrors that can be embedded in the bottom of the bowl to add reflection to the water.

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      Craft Large-Scale Pieces with Concrete

      Once you've mastered smaller projects, consider moving on to larger pieces, such as a concrete bench. For a simple design such as this, use plywood and framing pieces to make a mold. The finished bench will be heavy so it likely will need a permanent site. Toss on a few cushions to use it for seating, or make it a spot to display potted plants.

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      Next Slideshow Fall Container-Garden Recipes

      Fall Container-Garden Recipes

      Add beauty to your fall garden or landscape with these container-garden creations.
      Begin Slideshow »



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