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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Pool and Spa Ideas

Bask in the comfort and tranquility of a pool or spa.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • City Escape

      A multifaceted deck dresses up an off-the-shelf spa.

      • In narrow urban landscapes, a side yard makes a good spot for a slender deck or spa.
      • Placed with its top level aligned with the deck's floor, an in-deck hot tub becomes less obtrusive.
      • Located right next to the hot tub, an outdoor-resistant rug offers a spot to dry off.
      • Because the spa is sunk into the deck, the railings serve as a privacy screen.
      • Above the nearby couch, a few hooks offer a convenient spot to hang towels.
    • A World Away

      A slender wall divides public from private.

      • While a spa may require privacy from the neighbors, it can also call for screening from the rest of the house. Here, a stucco wall protects the space from the home's back windows.
      • A wide deck around the hot tub does double duty as an informal bench.
      • An extension of the spa's concrete base provides a transition between spa and grass.
      • The geometry of the spa repeats in the pattern of pavers inset into the grass.
      • If appropriate, choose materials that help to tie the spa area with the rest of the house -- here, the same color and style of brick repeats in the walls around the pool area.
    • Wooded Refuge

      A pool maximizes the view in its secluded site.

      • Good lighting is essential. This pool features a few fixtures sunk into the surrounding concrete pad.
      • A neutral light brown stain for the concrete pad offers a color choice in-step with the natural surroundings.
      • Curves cut out of the pool's concrete pad offer spots for a few shrubs and decorative boulders.
      • An infinity edge orients the view to the forest and lake.
      • When the area around a pool is mostly paved, containers planted with annuals can provide a way to add color and texture.
    • Say Ahhhh

      Beautifully landscaped grounds are the backdrop to an expansive pool.

      • If space allows, a nearby building can be useful to store cleaning tools and other pool-care necessities.
      • The geometry of the pool stands in stark contrast to the lushly planted surroundings.
      • The patterning of the pool's deck is repeated in other hardscape elements, such as the series of mostly rectangular pavers (spaced at regular intervals) that lead from house to pool.
      • Instead of a basic long rectangle shape, this pool subtly widens at the shallow end.
      • Columnar evergreens and towering ornamental grasses shield one end of the pool from view.
    • Contemporary Cool-Off

      A home's sleek style extends to its minimalist pool.

      • Grasses and river rock fill a slim area between pool and house.
      • Instead of a traditional wide deck surrounding the pool, here, nearby paved patio spaces offer spots to sit down and towel off.
      • The home's contemporary style and geometry supply inspiration for the pool's design.
      • In a sleight of pool-design hand, a very shallow section provides a spot for a few people to cool off without getting submerged.
      • Deep blue tile offers a restful accent for the wall and edging surrounding the pool.
    • Clever Curves

      A small-scale spa enlarges outdoor living space.

      • A brick patio naturally extends into a design element in this spa. Mortared pavers forming the pool's edge.
      • Casual seating -- such as the bordering wall here -- provide a spot to perch if they're not using the spa.
      • Rigid borders go by the wayside in this spa, which is cleverly cut into a curved niche in the retaining wall.
      • Stonework in the adjacent fireplace repeats in the spa's backdrop to create continuity in the yard.
      • A few blooms crest over the retaining wall, supplying a pretty spot for spa users to rest their eyes.
    • Jump In

      A pool/spa combo creates a backyard refuge.

      • Sometimes pools and spas are completely different spaces, but integrating them can be a natural fit.
      • In place of an ordinary fence, a distinctive stone wall offers a back border for the pool.
      • Two fountains -- one in the spa, one in the pool -- create dramatic vertical interest.
      • If budget allows, try using stone pavers to provide an attractive and texturally interesting deck around a pool.
      • Small niches of plants fill a spot in the corner of the pool, softening the stone's edges.
    • Swim with a View

      A relaxing view serves as backdrop for this sleek pool.

      • With one length an "infinity" edge, a pool relies on slim stone paving for the three other sides to minimize visual disruption.
      • Grass offers a soft landing pad around the deck.
      • Both chairs and the placement of the pool orient the view to the wide-open countryside.
      • A short metal railing defines the yard's (and the pool's) back border.
      • Bountiful blooms disguise the fence and offer a welcome bit of color.
    • Time for a Swim

      Spots to escape the sun while enjoying the pool are key in this landscape.

      • A stone border offers a low-key separation between spa and pool.
      • A portable outdoor umbrella provides protection from the sun.
      • Comfy benches and a covered patio furnish spots for poolside rest and relaxation.
      • Two subtly different materials -- one as edging, another as surrounding deck -- add a slight but welcome point of visual interest.
      • A sculpture of large boulders serves as focal point and natural spot for inclusion of a waterfall.
    • 10 of 11

      Pool Repose

      Sophisticated details dress up this combo pool/spa.

      • A series of concrete "pads" jut out in the pool space, offering just variation to the mostly neutral deck.
      • A short retaining wall, which features the same creamy white color of the surrounding stone, separates the pool area from the rest of the yard.
      • Speckled stone provides this spa with its own distinct border.
      • Lighting around a pool and spa is for both safety and ambiance; here, a few fixtures unobtrusively dot the landscape.
      • Here, both the fence and the deep green foliage serve a visual counterpoint to the white stone.
    • 11 of 11
      Next Slideshow Fall Landscaping Ideas

      Fall Landscaping Ideas

      See how two great gardeners -- one on the East Coast and one on the West -- created knock-your-socks-off fall yards -- and learn how you can do the same.
      Begin Slideshow »



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