Dress Up Your Porch for Fall
Whip up beautiful autumn arrangements for your porch with these DIY "recipes."
This fall, let flowers and foliage in autumnal colors welcome visitors (and Halloween trick-or-treaters) to your door. Look for fresh plants at your nursery or garden center, or harvest acorn squash, pumpkins, gourds and other long-lasting veggies from your garden.
When your pastel plants move off-stage, replace them with yellow-gold, purple, crimson and orange flowers and foliage. We’ve got five gardening “recipes” to help you decorate any size porch for fall.
1. Make a Quick and Easy Arrangement
You don’t even have to get your hands dirty to create this fall display. Just drop a pot of pretty pansies into a slightly larger container. (You may need to put something in the bottom of the pot, like another upside down pot, to lift the pansies above the rim.) Then stage the scene with pumpkins in a few interesting shapes and sizes. Optional: add a straw bale. Echo the display on the other side of your front door, or not; it looks good either way. Tip: After your pumpkin wilts, transplant ‘Cool Wave’ pansies to your garden, where their long stems will spread over the ground.
2. Plant a Pumpkin
If you don’t mind a little pumpkin goo, this display doesn’t require dirt or digging, although you will need a sharp knife. Simply remove the top of a pumpkin and scoop out some of the flesh and seeds. Then drop in a pot of pansies. When you’re ready to water them, lift the pot out of the pumpkin so excess water can drain away.
Ball Horticultural Company
Choose a pumpkin with a flattened bottom for your planter. When the pumpkin fades, toss it in the compost pile and transplant the pansies to another container or the garden.
Surround your pumpkin planter with more fall vegetables, and add a container or a half-barrel of pansies in a complementary color. Tip: for a cohesive look, stick to two or three flower colors on your porch. If you prefer, you can put soil in the scooped-out pumpkin and plant the pansies directly in it.
3. Go Big on a Large Porch
If a rustic look isn't your style, glam up your pumpkins and gourds with metallic gold or silver spray paint, or use white pumpkins with black accessories.
Bigger spaces give you a bigger canvas for your fall decorations. Here, wicker baskets hold multi-colored crotons, ‘Autumn Glow Bronze' mums, 'Sangria' ornamental peppers, and Supertunia Black Cherry petunias. Graceful Grasses ‘Vertigo’ purple fountain grass adds height, while 'Icee Blue' junipers spill over the sides of the containers. Pumpkin-shaped candy buckets anchor the display and dried cornstalks lean against porch columns.
Under the porch roof, containers of dwarf golden arborvitae are underplanted with 'Silver Bullet' artemisia,' 'Diamond Frost' Euphorbia and 'Endless Flirtation' Browallia. Tip: Buy mums with buds that are just starting to open, so your display will last longer.
4. Top a Table
You don’t need large containers for your fall flowers. If you’ve got a table on your porch—one that can handle getting wet when you water—make a simple but stunning arrangement like this arrangement, "Jumpin’ Gemini." It combines two 4.5-inch Superbells Plum calibrachoas and two 4.5-inch Superbells Saffron calibrachoas in one 14” pot. kalanchoes with smooth leaves, a moss-covered ball, rustic candle holders and mirrored accents provide a pleasing mix of textures and shapes.
5. Arrange for the Shade
Don’t despair if your porch doesn’t get much sun, especially during the autumn months. Some flowers and foliage can tolerate part sun to sun, including this combination of ‘Sweet Caroline Red’ sweet potato vines and Graceful Grasses ‘Purple Fountain Grass’. ColorBlaze ‘Royal Glissade’ coleus can take sun or shade.
Want more decor? Dress up your porch with a few of these extras. If you don’t have living materials, remember: faux is fine.
- Dried hydrangea blooms
- Interesting twigs
- Branches with colorful leaves
- Potted ornamental kales and cabbages
- Grapevine wreaths
- Wheat sheaves
- Bittersweet berries