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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First Year Tree Care

Newly planted trees are among the biggest landscape investments but also among the most vulnerable, particularly in winter.

Establishing trees on your lot is an important step, both for aesthetic reasons and more practical ones, such as lowering your energy bills in summer and winter. You can keep trees strong and healthy through the winter and beyond by avoiding some common mistakes.

Water Requirements
Lack of water is the biggest threat to young trees. It takes a new tree up to three years to develop roots to make up for those lost in the transplanting process. During that time, trees are especially vulnerable to drought, which leads to branch dieback and stem damage.

To get water directly to the roots, where it's needed the most, make a doughnutlike depression a few inches deep and 2-3 feet from the trunk so water will not run off. Not long ago, a dishlike depressing extending around the tree was considered ideal. But the doughnut works better because it prevents puddling around the trunk, where water could cause rot.

Learn more about successfully growing trees and shrubs.

Failure to Protect
Wrapping and staking are sometimes required by nurseries if their tree guarantee is to be honored. Wrapping the lower trunk with tree wrap or heavy paper will prevent sun scald until the canopy of leaves grows thick enough to shade the trunk. Wrapping also helps insulate the tree from the cold.

Staking was, until recently, a rule without exception. New research, however, has shown that some flex and sway is necessary for trees to develop strength and resilience- although too much movement in the wind will keep the roots constantly under stress and prevent them from settling and spreading. So, use the minimum staking necessary, perhaps none for small transplants, and take out stakes once they're no longer needed.

Girdling can kill a tree quicker than any other type of injury because it can entirely cut off the flow of nutrients and water to the branches farther up the tree. To avoid girdling, remove anything that could bind around the trunk. Run guy wires through pieces of hose. When possible, tie branches with soft string or pieces of nylon hose that will stretch or break before they bind.

As winter progresses keep an eye on young trees. Don't let the harsh weather keep you from providing necessary care.


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