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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Thinning and Deadheading

Keep your garden looking pretty and orderly by regularly thinning and deadheading.

Garden phlox is susceptible tomildew, especially when the plantsare growing in dense clumps.

Thinning and deadheading are two measures that add to the good looks of your garden. Thinning refers to selectively eliminating plants or stems. The end result is a more attractive and healthier garden.

As you thin and deadhead, be on the lookout for seeds you might save. Click here to learn the basics.

To reduce the threat of mildew, improve air circulation by thinning out dense strands of phlox. Cut some stems to the ground.

If your garden contains mildew-prone perennials, such as phlox and beebalm (Monarda didyma), you must ensure adequate air circulation to deter the formation of the fungus. This is simply a matter of periodically cutting enough stems to the ground so that the remaining ones are not crowded. Such surgery in no way harms the plant. Thinning must be done regularly, however, because once mildew sets in it is hard to control without resorting to chemicals.

One easy way to thin plants is to inspect new shoots in the spring. If -- as is often the case with phlox -- they appear crowded together, simply cut out the woody center of each clump.

Do not simply pick off the oldflower heads, or the plants willbe left with unattractive barestems.

Deadheading is a grim-sounding term that describes cutting off the unattractive dead heads of flowers in your beds and borders. While deadheading is not essential, it certainly provides great rewards by prolonging the bloom period of most plants, preventing self-seeders from seeding, and ensuring a freshness and neatness in the garden.

Most plants are genetically programmed to produce seeds. Once seed is produced, the plant's function is completed and it can appropriately wither or simply settle in as a foliage plant. If you cut the flower before the seed sets, however, the plant must produce another flower in order to fulfill its goal. The glory of modern breeding is the creation of sterile cultivars; these literally do not know how to stop producing flowers. If you wish to reduce deadheading in your perennial garden, choose sterile cultivars.

Deadheading Your Garden


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