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

January Tips: The Pacific Northwest

Start off your garden year right by laying the foundation for a great garden.

Maintain your tools.

Leaf Disposal and Tool Care -- Clean up and fix up before plants really get growing. Rake leaves, pull obvious weeds, spruce up and sharpen hand tools and power tools.

Leaf Disposal

  • Take the lawn mower in for a tune-up and blade-sharpening, or do it yourself, being sure to change the oil and clean or change the filter. A great tip is to keep an extra mower blade. Blades need to be sharpened three or four times during the growing season, so you can always have one on hand while the other is at the shop -- or on your workbench.

Planting Bare-Root Trees, Shrubs and Roses -- Once the ground is well-thawed, you can plant bare-root trees and shrubs as well as bare-root roses.

Planting Bare-Root Trees and Shrubs

Planting a Bare-Root Rose

Planting Trees and Shrubs -- Plant container-grown trees, shrubs, perennial herbs, ground covers, and perennial flowers as long as you're within at least one month of your region's last frost date. You can get a general idea by clicking on our map, but to find out precisely, give any local garden center a quick call.

Planting Trees and Shrubs

Last Frost Zone Map

  • If you haven't already, fill in bare spots with cool-season annuals (those annuals that thrive when temperatures are seldom lower than 35 and seldom higher than 80 or 85 F), such as pansies and snapdragons.

Pruning Roses -- Prune deciduous fruit trees and also prune roses. Spray both them with horticultural oil to prevent insect problems later.

Pruning Roses

Pruning Trees and Shrubs -- Prune trees and prune shrubs. Be careful with flowering trees and shrubs -- you don't want to trim off developing buds. But do trim late-summer or fall-blooming trees and shrubs, including abelia, mimosa, cassia, oleander, crape myrtle, princess flower (also called tibouchina), golden rain tree and hibiscus. As a rule of thumb, otherwise, prune flowering shrubs and trees within a month after they stop blooming.

Pruning Trees

Pruning Shrubs

Houseplant Basics -- Houseplant growth this month is slow, so don't fertilize and keep watering to a minimum. For more information, check out our houseplant basics.

Houseplant Basics

  • Deadhead camellia blossoms and pick up fallen blossoms to prevent disease problems.

Start Seeds Indoors -- Start seeds indoors if you like for warm-season annuals, such as tomatoes, marigolds, peppers, cosmos, zucchini, impatiens, salvia, basil, and others. Otherwise, wait until all chance of freezing temperatures has passed and buy established seedlings at the garden center.

Start Seeds Indoors

Fertilize Lawns -- Try our handy on-line lawn fertilizer calculator so you know exactly how much to buy and apply.

Fertilizer Calculator

  • Cut branches from forsythia, redbud, quince, flowering cherry, pussy willows, and other spring-blooming shrubs and trees to force indoors. Simply cut branches of flowering woody plants once you can spot the tiny developing buds. Submerge the branches in cold water (like the tub) for a couple hours or up to a full day. Then stick just the ends in a bucket of cold water about a foot deep for a week in a cool (no warmer than 60 degrees F) spot. Arrange in a vase, put in a warm room, and watch the buds open over the next few days.

Garden Projects -- Now is an excellent time to start some of those garden hammer-and-nail projects you've been wanting to do -- window boxes, planters, arbors, and more. Check out for a list of dozens of garden projects.

Garden Projects

Garden Journals -- If you haven't already, start a garden journal or file. Tuck into it names of plants you like, magazine pictures, plant labels and seeds, and anything else that suits your fancy. If you're feeling crafty, make your own journal.

Landscaping and More -- While you're doing your garden planning, check out the entire section on garden planning and landscaping at It covers everything from assessing your landscape needs to putting it down on paper to choosing the best plants for you.

Garden Planning and Landscaping

Garden Plans -- For specific ideas and layout plans, go to's Garden Plans. There are a number of great combinations for everything from shade to property lines to front entries.

Garden Plans


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