Curb Appeal – Summer Planters

When we bought our home almost nine years ago, there were some planters already here.  I moved them from the backyard to the front porch and I made the most of them for many years.  The thing is, they never really fit the style of our house, so this spring I was on the hunt for something new.  Ta-da!  After countless trips to Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Home Goods, I spotted these one morning last week when I was at Home Depot getting mulch.  I new they would be perfect for our front porch, and it was an added bonus that they complimented our doormat.

Our brick house has olive green shudders, so green and red planters were out.  I didn’t want black, but I could not find a blue I liked in a material that would serve us for years to come.  Enter these denim planters.

Before I did anything, I prepared the pots.  Man, any house project that I can grab the power drill just makes me happy.  These didn’t come with pre-drilled drain holes, so I grabbed the old Dewalt and went for it.

Easy-peasy.  If you don’t own a drill or aren’t a fan, a hammer and a nail will get the job done.

These planters are resin, so while big, they are super light weight, so I weighed them down with a brick and stone in each one.

Then I just filled her up with some potting soil.

For the last eight summers, my color scheme has been pretty consistent.  I have always had red, white, and blue/violet flowers.  This year, I knew with the pot change, I wanted something else.  One of my all time favorite color combination when it comes to flowers is bright pink and yellow.  I already had some plants in mind when I headed over the local nursery.

This is what I came up with.  I had predetermined a superbell, often referred to as a wavy petunia, the blooms are smaller, and it has a beautiful cascading effect, they are great in planters, hardy, so easy to care for, and bloom all summer long.

One of my favorite flowers is lantana.  There are so many color combinations, and I immediately gravitated to the sunrise rose, the bloom is a mix of bright pink and yellow.

I like to add asparagus fern in my planters.  They are fun, and add a necessary touch of green.  I usually plant a grass of some sort because even planters need some grounding.  I like variegated varieties best because of the color change.

Normally I would have grabbed a geranium, but the last few years they have not done well on our front porch, so I was looking for something else.  I say some gerbera daisies that fit my color scheme, but I don’t love them.  I know. I know.  Everyone loves them.  I do think they are stunning, but when you get them cut, I can’t stand when they slump over, and start losing their petals everywhere.  I also knew I was limited because these pots face west and never get a break from the sun.  I figured if they didn’t work, I would have the others, and what would really be lost?

Combined together, I knew I made the right choice.

Before planting them, I adjusted them around the planter to determine their placement. Once I settled on the arrangement, I planted the second planter, using the first as my template.

Since these are flanking our front door, I flipped the flowers to make a mirror image.

I often think of giving the bird house converse a better home for birds, but I love seeing it on the porch.

These planters could not have worked out better.

This is just an example of the endless possibilities you can find when you spend a few minutes in a nursery.  If you don’t know where to start, pick a color scheme and go from there.

A few things to keep in mind, gardening of any kind is a series of failures that leads to success.  The morning after I planted these, a rabbit had helped himself, and dug all the plants out of one of the planters.  Our porch was covered in potting soil, and baby plants were laying lifeless.  I reassembled, hosed the porch down, and sprayed those pants with deer and rabbit repellent.  That’s pretty minor on the failure rate, but gardening is all about having to overcome adversity.  I think that’s why I like it so much.  There is no time for failure in our culture, but how can we even measure success if we didn’t know what failing looked like or felt like?

On a lighter, different note.

– Consider where your planters are located – full sun, partial sunlight, or shade.  That clearly determines what types of plants you should plant.

– The size of planter. These are 18 inches around – I easily got all five plants in there, I probably could have stuck in one more, but I was content with this selection.  You can’t cram them together. Plants need room to put down roots, even if it’s for a summer.

– Do you have deer or bunnies that will just straight up come onto your front porch, back porch, patio to help themselves?  You are gonna want to spray the planters.

– In general plants that are good for pots are easy and hardy.  They mostly need drain holes, some water occasionally and proper sunlight.  If you get those things, you are likely to succeed.

Grab your garden gloves and shoes, head to your local nursery and bring some summer curb appeal to your front door.

One Reply to “Curb Appeal – Summer Planters”

  1. Looks great Angie!! And on a side note- the new Elkridge library has a DYI area- where you can check out all types of tools with you library card! (thats right no $$ involved). Even drills. Love reading your blogs. Susan Shaw

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