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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The Best of Phlox

Brilliantly colored phlox brightens up the home and garden. Here are some hardy varieties and growing tips.

Add splashes of color to your home and garden with phlox.

Summer phlox is a widely adapted perennial, hardy from Minneapolis to the Gulf Coast. If you've grown phlox before, however, you know that its nemesis is powdery mildew, a fungus that leaves the plants looking bare-legged and bedraggled. Certain phlox varieties are more resistant to the disease than others, and a few years ago we set out to find them. We asked phlox experts and ordinary gardeners from across the country to recommend their favorites.

Phlox adds loads of color to perennial borders at an otherwise lean time of year. It may not be the easiest perennial to grow, but it's among the most gratifying.

Phlox lifts your garden out of the summer doldrums on a wave of jewel-box colors and soft perfume. Any phlox is beautiful, but the varieties that follow are also long-blooming and healthy. Clearly, they're the best.

Snip a few stems of phlox, plunk them in an upright vase, and you have a bouquet more bountiful than anything from a florist's shop. Now bury your nose in the blossoms for a whiff of heaven.

Even the mildew-resistant varieties of phlox aren't mildew-proof. Take these steps to keep your phlox healthy:

Franz Schubert
  • Plant phlox in full sun in rich, porous soil. Plant in spring or fall.
  • Feed regularly. Give new plants or divisions a generous helping of compost stirred around in the planting hole. Use a balanced fertilizer annually thereafter.
  • Keep the soil moist and cool with a layer of organic mulch. When watering, avoid wetting the foliage -- a practice that spreads disease.
  • Divide clumps every three to four years. In spring, thin clumps to no more than eight stems. Overcrowded stands of phlox are mildew-prone.
  • In late fall, after the plants have succumbed to frost, cut the stems to the ground and discard them -- but not on your compost pile. Mildew spores overwinter in the dead stems and foliage.
  • If mildew appears despite your taking all the precautions, treat it with a horticultural oil spray -- a low-toxicity alternative to traditional fungicides.

Natascha's pink-and-white pinwheels spin from June until fall.

Miss Lingard bears slender flower heads of the crispest white.

Katherine radiates soft color from the centers of large florets.

Laura takes the prize as the longest-blooming phlox in our Test Garden.


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