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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Annual Stakes and Supports

Keep your garden neat with these ideas for staking and supporting your annuals.

Tall plants like these larkspurmay need staking to keep thestems straight.

Many annuals are neat and tidy in their growth and habit. They amble along the ground or form low mounds of flowers and foliage that are always attractive, even after a heavy summer rainstorm. Some plants grow tall and straggly. Without the help of a few well-placed stakes or some string, their stems flop about, giving a decidedly untidy look to the garden.

After you've used stakes to tidy up your annuals, install edging for a neat flower bed border. Click here to learn how.

Fragrant sweet peas need a support to climb.

Pea-Staking Pea-staking is an ancient method of holding up plants. Branches pruned from trees are spread about and plants grow up between the twigs, eventually covering them with foliage. (The term "pea-staking" originated in English vegetable gardens, where such natural stakes were used to hold up pea vines.)

Cat's Cradle A cat's cradle results from winding green garden twine back and forth and diagonally across four wooden or bamboo stakes set at the corners of a plot. Bamboo Stakes Bamboo stakes (both real and plastic) or thin but straight wooden stakes can be used to support single-stemmed plants. Use special plastic clips, bits of string, or twist ties to hold the stems fast.

Many garden supply catalogues now offer interlocking stakes made of a green plastic-coated wire, which can be formed in many shapes, from a simple square to a long, spiral "S." And loops of the same plastic are now sold that ride up and down straight supports, enabling the loops to grow with the plants.

Climbing annuals, such as morning-glories, cup-and-saucer vine (Cobaea scandens), hops (Humulus spp.), sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus), and scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), need tall, vertical supports. You can grow most of these plants on trellises, latticework, or a series of vertical strings, as described below. Hop vines are heavier and need a sturdy support. Train hops on a tripod made of wooden poles lashed together at the top or on a stout trellis or arbor. Hop vines are excellent for shading a porch, and their large leaves make them a good choice to cover a dilapidated shed or to screen the compost pile from view.

Trellises Trellises for other climbing annuals can take a variety of forms. They may be either freestanding or placed against a wall. Flat trellises are usually made of wood strips that are arranged in lattice patterns, fans, or geometric shapes. You can buy them or build your own.

If your front porch is enclosed by a wooden railing, you can plant morning-glories or other thin-stemmed vines to screen, shade, and decorate the porch. Screw a series of small metal hooks (like the ones sold to hang coffee cups), spaced at regular intervals, into the railing and the roof above, then tie string or fishing line between the hooks. Plant the vines in pots or rectangular planters, so their stems can climb the strings.


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