To review the May newsletter CLICK HERE
GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
Visit our Sponsors! encore azalea Dramm
Visit our Sponsors and win.
3 Ways to Save Water When Getting Ready For Spring

Your Guide for Designing a Front Porch Planter for Spring

By Claire Josephson,
Photographs courtesy of Wave

Planters and window boxes are a fantastic way to experiment with gardening and design. These stand-alone showcases add another dimension to your front porch, brightening dull spots, and providing interest and welcoming color to set off your entryway in style.

GardenSMART Article Image

1. Select Your Container

When choosing your planter, stick to just one or two different materials. Take your cue from your own personal style or look of your house – red brick buildings are enhanced by terracotta containers, while a modern front looks great with galvanized metal pots.

Bigger pots have more impact and plants growing in them won’t dry out as quickly, but an eclectic grouping of small planters can also create a quirky, ever-changing scene. Whatever you choose, be sure it has adequate drainage holes to let water run through the soil and roots and not swamp the bottom of your pot.

2. Make a Plan

Once your planters are chosen, you can move on to selecting plants, keeping in mind their eventual height, shape and growth. Most plants are either upright, mounded or trailing.

You can create a dynamic combo with plants of different heights and shapes – the thriller, filler, spiller concept. But another sure-fire way to create a strong, architectural statement is to place just one bold plant in the container to steal the show!

GardenSMART Article Image

3. Know Your Growing Conditions

Remember to factor in sun vs. shade, too, as some plants need a full 6+ hours of sun, and others thrive in the same amount of shade. If you fill a container or hanging basket with shade-loving impatiens or begonias, and then put them in a sunny, west-facing location, those plants will struggle to survive. You also won’t have much luck if you try to grow sun-loving petunias on a shady porch. Think about where the planter will be located and select plants that will flourish there. 

It's also important to combine plants with similar moisture requirements. Plants that do well in dry conditions don’t mix with those that need regular watering. The plant tags should share many of those details as you’re shopping in the store.

GardenSMART Article Image

4. Add D├ęcor

Don’t be afraid to add in some additional decorative items near or in your planter. They’re an easy way to dress up your flowers for a special holiday. Have fun with fabric flags, ribbon, even sparkly chains or jewelry-like baubles.

5. Color Makes a Statement

With fresh color at your door, you’ll generate energy and excitement right in your entryway. You can go bold by combining complementary colors, such as purple and orange. Or create a sophisticated look with white, silver and green. This is your chance to try new combinations and take a few chances with some amazing, colorful plants.

For more information, visit

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

Article URL:

Back to Articles List                               

GardenSMART Featured Article

By Heather Blackmore for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

Heather has written a great article about 5 new annuals that take the heat and thrive all summer long. To learn more click here for an interesting article.

  Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!  
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.