April 11, 2014

Front Porch Container Gardening

Pinspiration from The Gilded Mint

Spring has sprung in the South, and I'm hoping that our last freeze has come and gone. My green thumb has been itching, so I dug into Pinterest to look for some container gardening ideas for my front porch. Last year, because of some landscaping work that had to be done, I really didn't do much except put a few ferns and begonias in pots on the porch here and there. This year it was time for a change!

My Pinspirations:

Source: Decoratingho.me
Source unknown
Source unknown

Source: The Gilded Mint

I love the hydrangeas in the containers by The Gilded Mint, and I think the picture sold me because my door and porch look very similar. So, away I went to one of my favorite local nurseries and found:

1. Two Planters - I actually found my planters at Home Depot after I purchased all my plants. They were more expensive than I had hoped, but I knew I would pay much more at the local greenhouse. I also knew that they would be protected from the weather and last a good long time on my porch, so I decided to commit to them. Make sure you get planters large enough for what you're planning to put in them. The two I purchased are 18-inch squares, but I would have been happier with something closer to 21-inch squares just to give the roots a little more wiggle room. I love the zinc finish on the planters in the photo above, but the only similar version I could find was waaaay out of my price range.

2. One Boston fern - Yes, that's one fern for two containers. My thinking here is that I want to give the fern a chance to grow and not be immediately root-bound in the container, so I cut the root ball in half with a pair of shears and placed them in the backs of the pots. (That trick also saved me $10.)

3. Two Hydrangeas - Do not buy hydrangeas that are already in bloom. These have been warmed up in a greenhouse and I'm guessing may go into shock during chilly spring nights. Instead look for smaller hydrangeas that are thinking about flowering. These are an investment around $30, so make sure they're happy and healthy.

4. Two Sweet Potato Vines - I love these limey vines and they just need to be kept trim. They like to spread, so keep an eye on them. They're nice and inexpensive at just $2-$5 each.

5. Two Asparagus Ferns (tentative) - I haven't purchased these yet and am planning to see if the three plants I've put in my planters fill up the space as they settle in and grow. The dimensions of my planter seem smaller than what was used above, so I'll add these ferns later if there's room. They are tucked away in the back of the Pinspiration photo so I'm not sure anyone would miss them.

The container 2 days after planting - the little purple flower was a leftover from the flowerbed plantings earlier in the day
I'm hoping to see blooms starting to appear once the hydrangea gets settled a bit. It's a spring to fall bloomer so my porch should have some color until I need to find a place in the yard to over winter them. Grow baby grow!

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