Monday, July 16, 2012

Front Porch Plants

I started gardening not long after I graduated college. For those first few years, I rented an apartment. Then Brian and I rented a house for six years. So during that time I gardened at my mom’s house and I had tons of container plants. My old apartment had a small, glassed in back porch that I used for my plants. At our rental house, the front porch was covered in containers. I still love gardening in containers. On the front porch, I like to color coordinate my plants with the colors of the house. Here’s my porch plants this year.  I took this standing in the corner on the porch.

Front porch plants.

The first thing most people notice when they walk by is the Endless Summer (blue) Hydrangea and the hanging baskets of Dragon Wing Begonia. You can see my white metal fern stand on the porch, too.

Hydrangea and Dragon Wing Begonia.

The next thing you notice are the containers on the steps. The bottom two contain various annuals like Celosia, Begonia Bonfire, miniature Dahlias and more. The large container on the top step is one I made in a tropical plants class I took at Longwood Gardens. We got so many amazing plants in that class. This container has Canna Tropicanna (the big leafed thing in the middle of the pot), Aeonium (the tall, dark purple plants), and Kalanchoe Thrysiflora (oval, silvery foliage). There also was some flowering annuals in there that didn’t survive the latest heatwave.

Three containers on the front steps.

I have a large pot to the left of the front door that has a stand in it. Then I have some smaller pots to the left and right of it. You’ll probably notice Coleus, Variegated Ivy, lime-colored Sweet Potato Vine, and more Dragon Wing Begonias.

Fun with containers.

Here’s a close-up of the tropical plant in the top basket part. I need to look for the tag because I can’t remember the name of this. I bought it at Waterloo Gardens in Exton. I love the dark red undersides of the leaves.

A two-toned tropical plant.

To the right of the front door are more containers. I must admit, I’m loving the colors and textures I have in this grouping this year.

More containers to right of front door.

I bought these three plants at The Perennial Garden (which I think is in Mount Holly) in the early spring. What we have here is Burgundy Threadleaf Alternanthera, Begonia Rex Fireworks, and Little Rubby Alternanthera. I absolutely love this combination together, however, I think it’s in need of a bigger pot.

Playing with colors and textures.

This is another type of Begonia. Some of these Begonias are really cool and they keep well in my greenhouse through the winter.

Some type of magenta, green and silver Begonia. Gorgeous!

This is an amazingly cool Aloe. When I took that tropical container class at Longwood Gardens, they let us pick out what we wanted from the leftover plants we didn’t use in our container. I picked up this bad-boy right away before anyone else could grab it. It was crammed into a container that was much too small for it. It seems really happy in the larger pot. It probably could use more sun then it gets here, however, it seems to be doing just fine. I must say, I tore up my hands repotting this guy — those spikes look cool, but they are pretty nasty.

A large, spike-filled Aloe.

When I’m watering the plants or doing work in the very small front yard that we have, I sometimes take a break on the porch swing or the rocking chairs. The porch plants help to make for a peaceful like oasis.

Dragon Wing Begonia and ferns.

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