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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Tips for Designing the Perfect Garden

Get ideas for combining colors and textures from Virginia Amstrup, who created this beautiful garden in Alaska.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Break up Open Spaces

      Give your garden an exciting, contemporary feel by breaking up the lawn into small sections. Here, the Amstrups gave their lawn a flowing design, punctuated by colorful flowerbeds. It adds more interest than colorful borders surrounding a big patch of grass.

    • Direct the Eye

      Use ribbons of lawn to create an exciting look and lend your landscape a sense of whimsy. Plus, it offers the feeling of discovery -- you never know what you'll find as you go down different paths. Extra Link: See another garden divided into rooms.

    • Vary Textures

      Texture is as important to color in garden design. Repeating texture -- in this case the dwarf spruce tree with golden Angelina sedum -- creates a sense of comfortable consistency. But too much of the same texture gets boring, so don't be afraid to mix it up. Here, the smooth river rocks create a brilliant contrast.

    • Use Interesting Edging

      Edging gives your garden a crisp, clean look. But be creative and add interest by making your edging a design element. Here, the wide swath of rock between the lawn and the plantings gives the feel of a flowing river.

    • Employ Garden Art

      Create surprises and add interest to your plants with little touches of art. This bowling ball, for example, instantly became an eye-catching mosaic sculpture with the addition of some beads and broken glass.

    • Create Movement

      Ornamental grasses are perfect plants for giving your yard a sense of movement. Whether you choose varieties with soft, arching foliage or airy seedheads such as this prairie dropseed, they create visual excitement in the landscape.

    • Put the Right Plants Together

      Put together a stunning garden simply by creating fun plant combos. Look for great color or texture contrasts. Here, for example, the ferny, blue-green foliage of bleeding heart is a perfect contrast for the golden carpet of Irish moss. Both are accented nicely by red sedum.

    • Use Found Objects

      Give your garden a one-of-a-kind look by using found objects. The gardener found a run-over steel fencepost on the side of the road. A simple coat of paint transformed it into an intriguing sculpture.

    • Mix in Edibles

      Take advantage of the beauty of edible plants and incorporate them in the landscape. Here, bright green and red lettuces form an intriguing border planting and eliminate the need for a separate vegetable garden.

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      Play to Your Personality

      The number one thing to keep in mind in designing a garden is that your garden needs to fit your personality. So find ways to incorporate things you like in the garden. It may be garden art, such as the instruments here, or particular plants or even certain color combinations.

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      Break the Rules

      Don't take garden design too seriously. Have fun and feel free to break the rules. Your tallest plants don't always have to go in the back of the border. Plant some in the front to mix things up a bit.

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      Look Out

      Even the most die-hard gardeners don't spend all their time outdoors, so consider the view out from your favorite windows when you plant your yard.

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      Use Interesting Plants

      Include some plants in the garden that invite close inspection. For example, the real beauty of this Rex begonia leaf is in its swirling pattern.

      Here's a hint: Notice how the curled leaves echo the curving shapes of this garden's borders. Paying attention to details like this helps your garden feel more put together.

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      Embrace Color

      This beautiful pink meadow rue looks great on its own -- but it becomes a star of the garden in front of a blue-painted fence. Take note of how a plant looks with the others around it -- as well as against any garden backdrops.

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      Add Containers

      Container gardens are excellent solutions because you can move them around and create color in spots where plants go out of bloom. Take your garden to the next level by coordinating colors of your plants and the container. For example, the burgundy pot looks terrific with the rich purple-red thyme.

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      Use Colorful Foliage

      Contrasting foliage colors and textures can create even more impact than using flowers in the garden. This stunning planting, for example, employs blue-gray oxalis, purple polka-dot plant, and golden Angelina sedum.

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      Grow Extra-Easy Plants

      A beautiful, well-designed garden can be easy to care for if you include tough plants such as this drought-tolerant hens-and-chicks. Make sure you pick plants well adapted to your climate and growing conditions.

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      Pay Attention to Shapes

      While most gardeners think mainly about color, don't forget to utilize different shapes in your garden. Notice how the bowling balls here are fun accents to the round wall hangings and spherical bunny-tail grass seed heads.

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      Give Yourself a Place to Enjoy it

      Make sure you give yourself the chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy your beautiful garden. It doesn't have to be a grand deck or patio. The Amstrups painted some garden furniture pieces and set them in a private swath of yard.

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      Next Slideshow Native Plants With Seasonal Appeal

      Native Plants With Seasonal Appeal

      Having a colorful garden all year long is easy when you rely on native plants. Besides offering year-round beauty, natives are generally more insect- and disease-resistant than other plants. Here's a list of some of our favorite natives that are especially colorful in the fall.
      Begin Slideshow »



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