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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Plant Your Parking Strip

Tired of mowing your parking strip? Trade your turf for native plants -- easy-care beauties guaranteed to welcome wildlife and wow the neighborhood.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Make a great first impression by dressing up your parking strip -- that stretch of ground between the street and your sidewalk.

      Note: Check your municipality's rules for parking-strip plantings. Some areas have restrictions, such as height limits on plants.

    • A street-smart garden overflowing with colorful native plants is the perfect way to reduce mowing and add beauty to your front yard. Many native plants, such as the ones shown here, require less water, fertilizer, and pest control than their imported counterparts.

    • Mark It Out

      Begin by determining if you want to plant the entire parking strip or just a section. If you're not changing the entire area over to plantings, mark the edges of the new beds with spray paint, sand, or flour.

    • Remove the Sod

      Use a sod kicker or shovel to remove the turf from your planting bed. If you use a shovel or sod remover, you don't need to dig deeply -- just 3-4 inches under the soil should do it.

    • Loosen the Soil

      If you're cursed with clay or another type of hard soil, running a tiller through your new bed will make it easier to dig planting holes. If your soil is relatively loose, you won't need to till the ground.

    • Incorporate Compost

      Get your plants off to a great start by incorporating some compost into the ground. Work it evenly into the soil.

    • Arrange Your Plants

      Set your plants where you plan to add them before you start digging any holes. That way you can easily move varieties around.

    • Loosen the Roots

      If your plants are root-bound, meaning the roots are pushing up against the sides of the pot and are growing in circles, use your fingers or a trowel to loosen the root ball. Spread the roots out so they fan away from the plant.

    • Begin Planting

      Dig planting holes that are several inches wider than the diameter of the pot and about the same depth. Set plants into the ground so the soil in the pot is at ground level. Then fill in around the plant, covering the top of the root ball soil mass.

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      Take a Step Back

      Once all your plants are in the ground, take a step back and make sure you're happy with their placement. It's easier to shift plants before you water.

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      Mulch and Water Well

      After all plants are in place, add a 1- to 2-inch-deep layer of mulch. Choose an organic mulch such as shredded bark or pine needles to suppress weeds, preserve soil moisture, and enrich the ground as the material decomposes.

      Water plants thoroughly after mulching. You may need to water them weekly the first season; even drought-tolerant varieties need ample moisture while becoming established.

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      Enjoy Your Creation

      If you leave any grass around your bed, install edging to keep the turf from creeping in around your plants. Then, with the exception of an occasional weeding, watering, or deadheading, all you need to is sit back and relax as your parking strip bursts into bloom.

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      Next Slideshow Tips for Planting Your Favorite Bulbs

      Tips for Planting Your Favorite Bulbs

      Fill your garden with beautiful bulbs that bloom in spring, summer, and fall. Use these tips to ensure success.
      Begin Slideshow »



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