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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No-Fail Perennials of the Southwest

Beloved, hardy, low-maintenance pass-along plants are the best friend-makers a gardener can grow.


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    • Every region has its share of extra-easy plants. These time-tested favorites have become classics of country and cottage gardens and are full of heirloom charm. Pick these perennials and you can enjoy a colorful, almost carefree yard. We've pulled together some of the easiest-to-grow perennials in the Southwest. Add them to your landscape for season-long color.

    • Datura

      A sprawling native wildflower with pretty trumpet-shape flowers, datura blooms all summer long. The beautiful white flowers are fragrant in the evening hours and the gray-green leaves make a nice foil.

      Note: All parts of this plant are extremely poisonous.

      Plant Name: Datura meteloides

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 4 feet tall and wide

      Grow it with: Salvia, which offers wonderfully contrasting spiky blooms.

      Zones: 7-11; often grown as a self-seeding annual in colder areas

    • Agave

      This dramatic, shrublike succulent offers interesting texture and foliage. It's no wonder agaves are becoming favorites of gardeners everywhere -- their bold, architectural form really stands out in the landscape.

      Plant Name: Agave americana

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 25 feet tall in bloom and 6 feet wide

      Grow it with: Western columbine for a bold combination of color and texture.

      Zones: 9-11

    • Mexican Tarragon

      Enjoy this perennial's aromatic foliage all year long; the charming golden-yellow flowers are a great autumn bonus. Mexican tarragon, also called Mexican mint marigold, is rather tasty and can be used for cooking and baking.

      Plant Name: Tagetes lucida

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 30 inches tall and 18 inches wide

      Grow it with: The lush blooms of desert primrose.

      Zones: 8-10

    • Penstemon

      You can't go wrong with penstemons. These plants are as tough as they are beautiful. There's a huge variety; look for selections to bloom in just about any color. All are great plants for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies; most are great cut flowers, too.

      Plant Name: Penstemon heterophyllus

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

      Grow it with: Salvia; the two have a similar shape and texture.

      Zones: 7-10

    • Salvia

      Salvia, like penstemon, is another surefire winner for the garden. Salvias bear spikes of blooms in a wide array of colors -- from bold red to true blue -- on heat- and drought-resistant plants. Many have extended bloom seasons, too, and are favorites of hummingbirds and butterflies. Try one and it's likely to become one of your favorite plants.

      Plant Name: Salvia farinacea

      Growing Conditions: Full sun or part shade and well-drained soil

      Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

      Grow it with: Creeping phlox, which makes a great skirt for the plant.

      Zones: 8-11

    • Prickly Pear

      Not all cactuses are created the same. Look for easy-growing prickly pear in a wide variety of colors -- as well thornless selections! This plant is a great choice for gardeners in high elevations; certain prickly pears are among the hardiest cactuses.

      Plant Name: Opuntia selections

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 5 feet tall and wide

      Grow it with: Echeveria, another easy-care succulent, for a fun mix of color and texture.

      Zones: 5-11, depending on type

    • Western Columbine

      Add a soft, delicate texture to shady spots in your yard with Western columbine's colorful red-and-yellow springtime blooms. The blue-green, soft-textured foliage is a perfect way to add interest when the columbine isn't blooming.

      Plant Name: Aquilegia formosa

      Growing Conditions: Partial shade and moist, well-drained soil

      Size: To 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

      Grow it with: Pasque flower for a topnotch springtime display.

      Zones: 4-7

    • Four o'Clock

      All summer long, this easy-growing perennial will fill your garden with fragrance in the afternoons. Plus, it's a favorite of dusk-feeding hummingbirds and many beautiful moths.

      Plant Name: Mirabilis jalapa

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

      Grow it with: The morning blooms of coneflower.

      Zones: 10-11; often grown as a self-seeding annual in colder areas

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      This low-growing ground cover is a great choice for adding a spring-to-fall carpet of color to hot, sunny areas. The cheery yellow blooms shine against the perennial's rich evergreen foliage.

      Plant Name: Calylophus hartwegii

      Growing Conditions: Part shade in dry soil

      Size: To 1 foot tall and several feet wide

      Grow it with: Salvia -- the yellow and blue color combination is a garden classic.

      Zones: 5-9

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      Next Slideshow 15 Great Native Plants for Southwestern Gardens

      15 Great Native Plants for Southwestern Gardens

      Add low-maintenance beauty to your yard with these tough Southwestern plants.
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