Flower boxes on the railings would be georgous! Then some fragrant evergreen shurbs widely spaced in front, leaving room for flower pots. One good way to plant is to use larger pots between the shrubs and scatter a few small pots around too. It also cuts down on the amount of watering required. Water is getting so scarce and expensive! When you plant shrubs, include some 3" PVC pipe in the ground at different lengths around the plants to be filled with water during dry weather. Makes watering easier and faster.
Personally I would opt for low height plantings to hide just the bottom part of the deck. The railing looks so nice it would be shame to hide it behind planters and all that. Perhaps one or two larger on the ends with smaller in middle. I would also not put in a square planting bed, I would arc it with smooth lines so everything is not square. This would in my opinion give you the transition from the deck to the walkway and blend it all together. In any case the porch looks great! But where is the swing?
There will be a swing and two ceiling fans!
It looks like full sun. Check out Loropetalum, Knockout Roses and maybe Wysteria up the posts and across the top. Or Hummingbird Vine, Honeysuckle vine. Also, Gardenias would smell wonderfull when you are sitting on the swings! I agree, don't just plant a line across the front. Do a half circle with a wave and "stair step" down in height from the railing. KO Roses look wonderful in front of Loropetalum. Loropetalum are evergreen, teal and maroon leaves in summer, pretty pink flowers in spring and turn bright red in fall!! Beautiful shrubs. Look up on web each so you can see, go visit a local nursery and ask them to give you ideas. Try to use a mixture of variegated leaves and textures to give interest also while sitting on the porch. Maybe a bird feeder, birdbath or fountain to enjoy feathered friends while sitting there also, we love ours!
i hope this helps! http://bit.ly/I4UhyN
We can give you better suggestions if you tell us what exposure you have there and if you let us know what horticultural zone you are in.
A mixed border with some shrubs and perennials would be great. Yes, let us know the exposure and we can recommend particular plants.
Two words, hanging planters.
Bright color hanging baskets would look neat!!!!!
@Jeannette S, I am really interested in what you said about the 3"pvc around plants. I have not heard of this. Dont really understand , but it sounds like a good idea. Would you explain more in its own thread?
Dont want to hijack this one.
What you do is cut short lengths of pipe at diffrenting lengths (say 6", 8", 10", etc...depending on depth of tree) and plant them at a slanted angle toward the roots of your tree ball when you plant your tree. That way you can go out with a bucket or hose and fill up the pipe with water and get it directly to the roots of the tree and it saves the soaking time required in dry weather. This method can be used in vrious ways in planted areas.
No monkey grass please, try provence lavendar, santolina, germander, lemon thyme or another herb. They are evergreen and help deter insects
Foundation plants (ie shrubbery) will anchor that beautiful porch... the biggest planting error is planting too close to the foundation/ in your case porch... remember to leave at least 4ft. Plant varying height perennials in front of the foundation plants. Hanging 3 annual pots is quite charming and adds instant curb appeal.
I like large beds and full plantings, I would plant Orange Trumpet Vine to cover the columns and offer shade, then make six hanging window boxes to attach to the railing and plant fuschia in them with lime green sweet potato vine. 3 hanging asparagus fern baskets from the porch openings, six pink bush spreading roses spaced in fron of the railing, then a front edging of annuals like mounding petunias, impatiants or latana. I love color, abundance and a full garden.
I am planning on doing my front porch like yours. I had another kind of post but am doing extensive remodeling, and this is really nice. Good Idea!
Oh, so many great suggestions! I must add to this a couple more that haven't been mentioned. I love the idea of a curvilinear bed rather than a straight one running along the railing , it will soften the line.
I always liked to include a few garden boulders in my designs, ( saved $$ not having to cart them off :). I would incorporate them and add a ornamental grass just behind or in front of it.
This would depend on the size of the boulder (s). A 3 man boulder would look great with a tall Miscanthus Sinesis, but smaller rocks, like 2 mans or less look great with a few Carex's or Helictotrichon's.
Rocks and grasses ( in my Feng Shui style) add two elements that are a must in every garden. The rocks are a firm, strong, unchangeable element to be enjoyed year round. The grasses incorporate the element of air....every time a breeze comes by, they sway. That peaceful movement add's to the ambiance and overall feel of the garden. Please post a pic when you are done!
@.Sow and Dipity I like the sound of your plans. Wish you were closer to me [Ontario I need help with my front yard or lack of.] I really like your Scarecrow's and love the Harvest Lady.
Remember to find plants that will not grow wild, how much work do you want to do (pruning cutting watering) As suggested above I would make the bedding curved so everything doesn't look boxy, how good is the soil does it need to be improved, edging of the area for easier grass cutting. Also you might want to put in screening deep in prior to planting anything so little animals will not make a home underneath the porch (skunks). Evergreens high enough to cover porch foundation, small colorful perineal's for longer color and a few annuals. Then from top of the porch hang a few annual baskets.
Well looks like susan covered it pretty well! But i can honestly say I really reccommend Rhododendrons , they come in an amazing variety of colors and after they are established all they need are Acid grow tree stakes after they bloom each year.
lay out a hose to play with the configuration of the bed in front of the deck to and from the drive/ walkway. It will add lots of curb appeal... and remember no white rock :) a weed barrier before topping with medium size bark mulch. Have fun with your plan and planting.
Oh, my! What wonderful suggestions you all have given me! The exposure is full sun and we are in zone 6, in Kentucky just a couples of milesnorth of the Tennesse state line. Budget is a concern. We have taken care of the possiblity of "critters" with wood-tone lattice around the bottom. Soil is good and we have a large compost pile to draw from as well. As a senior citizen, lower maintenance is preferred.
You may want to wait until fall, JM, as many nurseries put things on sale then, and it's a great time to plant as plants are naturally directly their energy toward their roots. Here's a great list of plants native (generally speaking, therefore less maintenance) to Kentucky and Tennessee. I'd search for shrubs and perennials for full sun that will stay under 3-4 feet high, although you could go higher on the ends of you porch.
I see you have an arbor for a climbing plant as well....I really love my morning glories, they self sow for the following year and make my day when I get to see them first thing in the morning...BUT they can be invasive so if that is not something you want to deal with what about a clemantis? I have a white and purple and they are both just a glorious addition to the front of the house...
ad rose bushes or ornamental grass. We used flowers on our front lawn and it looks real nice.
Because there is a porch there, what a wonderful refuge you will have there. Add a water feature of some sort. Imagine sitting there and closing your eyes and hearing the trickling of water.
It's so beautiful, why not use planting baskets and that's it? Then next year you just have to add the flowers you want since you keep the basket. Then you don't have to deal with weeds on the ground. This way you see your neighbors as well. Just remember that baskets need watering more than ground plants. Hope it helps. I wish I had a beautiful porch like that. We can't afford it yet. Someday. Well good luck with whatever you go with.