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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Best Purple Flowers for Your Garden

Purple flowers make a bold statement. See our collection of pictures of purple flowers and types of purple flowers to bring color to your outdoor space.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Gorgeous Purple Flowers

      Purple flowers can bring rich color to any garden. Read on for our favorite purple flowers and the best ways to use them in your garden.

      Purple flower design tip: Try mixing different shades of purple flowers for a soothing blend. For example, violet and pink pentas provide two shades of color from otherwise-identical plants. They add color to the design without overwhelming it. 

      Include purple foliage plants as well: Colorful leaves provide continuity as blooms come and go through the season. Coleus and spiky penniseturn are two examples.

    • Summer Snapdragon

      This particular variety, serenita angelonia, has an upright form with lavender flower spikes. Raspberry and lavender varieties are popular choices.

    • Wave Pink Petunia

      A vigorous spreader, easily spanning 2-3 feet or more, Pink Wave Petunia softens border edges with its bountiful pink-to-purple blooms.

    • Vista Salvia

      This upright plant provides a nice contrast for spreaders like verbena and petunia. Both purple and lavender were used in this planting.

    • 'Purple Flash' Pepper

      'Purple Flash' Pepper is an excellent foliage plant with dark purples that make a great backdrop for pink and lavender.

      Capsicum 'Purple Flash' also has purple flowers and round black fruits. It grows 15 inches tall and 2 feet wide. It loves heat and is great for a sunny border.

    • Lanai 'Deep Purple' Verbena

      A low-growing groundcover, Lanai 'Deep Purple' Verbena fills the space between taller annuals with its rich, dark purple flowers.

    • Purple Pansy

      It's hard to beat pansy for a display of purple flowers in spring. This beloved annual perks up gardens in the cool months with its friendly faces. Pansies and violas naturally feature flowers in blue, purple, and lavender. But, plant breeders raided the crayon box to give us pansies of every color.

      Note: Pansies are actually short-lived and are often treated as annuals or biennials.

      Name: Viola x wittrockiana

      Growing conditions: Grow in a well-drained location in partial to full sun.

      Size: 6-8 inches tall

      Zones: 4-10

      Grow it with: Purple pansy flowers look brilliant when paired with oranges and yellows. Look for other cool-season flowers, such as African daisy, snapdragon, or the fun foliage of ornamental kale.

    • Heliotrope

      Prized for its sweet vanilla-tinged fragrance, heliotrope develops dense purple flower heads of in summer. White and pale blue selections are also available. Though typically grown as an annual, heliotrope is a shrub n the tropics; pinch back the stems a couple of times over the summer to make a bushier plant.

      Note: Heliotrope is a perfect plant for planting near your front door or in a window box so you can get close to the purple flowers and enjoy their fragrance.

      Name: Heliotropium arborescens

      Growing conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil.

      Size: To 3 feet tall and wide

      Zones: 10-11, but usually grown as an annual

      Grow it with: Give your nose a treat and create a fun textural contrast by pairing purple heliotrope with lemon basil, lemongrass, or lemon verbena.

    • Royal Candles Veronica

      Add excitement to your flower garden with the purple spikes of Royal Candles veronica. It's an easy-to-grow plant that blooms throughout the summer, especially if you remove the faded flowerheads.

      Note: Deer and rabbits usually leave this beautiful perennial alone!

      Name: Royal Candles Veronica 'Glory'

      Growing conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil.

      Size: To 1 foot tall and wide

      Zones: 4-8

      Plant it with: The golden-yellow flowers of 'Moonshine' yarrow or 'Moonbeam' coreopsis blend beautifully with this veronica's purple flowers.

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      Fan Flower

      A relatively new plant on the market, fan flower has quickly become a favorite for its lovely purple flowers. This Australian-native cascades over the sides of containers, making it a perfect pick for haging baskets.

      Note: Fan flower loves hot conditions if it isn't allowed to dry out.

      Name: Scaevola aemula

      Growing conditions: Full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil

      Size: To 8 inches tall and 14 inches wide

      Zones: 10-14, though typically treated as an annual

      Grow it with: Purple fan flower looks beautiful when paired with silvery licorice vine

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      Purple Bee Balm

      Though gardeners typically think about bee balm as red, there are some wonderful selections, such as 'Purple Rooster' and 'Blue Stocking' that offer purple flowers. Like the red varieties, they're easy to grow and offer a long bloom season.

      Note: Bee balm is loved by hummingbirds, and conveniently, often ignored by deer and rabbits.

      Name: Monarda selections

      Growing conditions: Full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil

      Size: To 3 feet tall and wide

      Zones: 4-10

      Plant it with: Accent the purple flowers with lovely purple foliage from shrubs such as Little Devil ninebark or perennials such as 'Bonfire' spurge.

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      Clematis 'Jackmanii'

      Clematis come in an array of colors, but one variety with purple flowers -- 'Jackmanii' -- is among the most well known. It's one of the most floriferous, showing off its display of purple flowers on and off all summer long.

      Note: Plant several types of clematis together on a wall or arbor to extend the bloom season.

      Name: Clematis 'Jackmanii'

      Growing conditions: Moist, well-draines soil that's rich in organic matter. Clematis are famous for wanting their leaves in the sun and the soil around their roots in the shade.

      Size: Climbs to 10 feet

      Zones: 4-9

      Plant it with: A groundcover such as creeping veronica, Rozanne perennial geranium, or creeping phlox to extend the flowering period and keep the soil cool around your clematis roots.

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      Thyme (Thymus spp.), lady's mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

      These hardy, sun-loving perennials meld in waves of yellow, green, and  purple flowers. These make great purple perennial flowers that give small purple flowers season after season.

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      Peach-Leaf and Clustered Bellflowers

      (Campanula spp.), yarrow (Achillea spp.)

      Bellflowers are purple perennial flowers. Trim them after their first bloom, and you may see a second wave of small purple flowers that keep pace with yarrow's golden blooms.

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      Next Slideshow Best Silver-Leaf Plants for Your Garden

      Best Silver-Leaf Plants for Your Garden

      Plants that have silvery foliage are some of the most valuable in the landscape because they look good with anything. Silver helps tone down bold, hot reds, yellows, and oranges, yet harmonizes with soft blues, pinks, and whites. Here are some of our favorite silver plants.
      Begin Slideshow »



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