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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Popular in Gardening

How to Hybridize a Rose

Grow an original rose with a few simple instructions.

Use each plant as both male and female parent.

To begin, choose parents with many common strengths and no shared weaknesses. If one parent has a weakness, choose the other with a strength that balances it. Some varieties create poor offspring as the mother, but good offspring as the father, and vice versa.

Unless you live where the growing season is long, start your process during the first flush of flowers so the plant has the whole season to mature the seed.

Click here to learn more about the principles of growing healthy roses.


Steps 1-3

1. Choose six or more buds on the mother rosebush. They should still be tightly closed.

2. Carefully remove the petals and anthers from several buds of the mother plant. Use nail clippers for this delicate task. (The anthers are the tiny stalks clustered in the flower center; the heads are where pollen is stored. The anthers should not be shedding pollen yet when you remove them.) A group of pistils in the center of the flower will remain. Cover the clipped buds loosely with a paper envelope so you can find them again and to keep out pollinating insects.

3. Let the prepared buds sit for one day. They will be ready to hybridize when the stigmas, or tops of the pistils, become shiny and wet. (Don't wait longer than two days.)

Steps 4-7

4. When the prepared buds are ready, remove an opened bloom from the father plant. (The anthers will be open and shedding powdery pollen.) Carefully snip off the petals; leave the anthers intact. Use this flower like a paintbrush to carefully dab pollen onto all of the prepared mother flowers. Cover again with the paper envelope. If you are successful, the base of the mother flower will swell into a rose hip, the fruit of the rose, within one or two weeks.

5. Leave the rose hips until they turn dark after a frost. Then harvest them and store them in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator until spring.

6. In spring -- a month or two before the last frost date -- cut the rose hips open, and plant the seeds in seed-starting mix or potting soil in a plug tray. Set the tray in a 70 to 75 degree F greenhouse or in a southern-exposure window. Keep moist and fertilize regularly with diluted balanced fertilizer.

7. The seedlings should grow big enough to bloom within six weeks. Choose the ones you wish to nurture into full rosebushes (probably less than 5 percent), and send the other scientific attempts to the compost pile. Pot the survivors in individual pots until they can be planted in the garden.

Over time, you'll discover other flaws, such as disease problems, lack of reblooming, or weak plants. From several hundred seeds, you may keep only one plant, depending on your taste, but it's your creation and the world has never seen its exact likeness before.


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