Making a large planter with perennials ?

I have a very large planter (16' 6" long x 14' 2" )wide that runs the length of my porch I also have a porch railing that runs the length of the planter. It's get more expensive each year to plant annuals, and I'd like some ideas of doing something different this year that will last year after year. Any suggestions as to what I can plant that won't cost me a fortune?
  8 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on May 06, 2014
    I don't know why you wouldn't intersperse perennials and perhaps some shrubs with the annuals to decrease your annual expense and work. If you let us know how much sun it gets we could make some specific suggestions. And posting a photo would certainly help. (And, p.s.: How do you get into a planter that wide to do work?)

  • Nancy Hetrick Nancy Hetrick on May 06, 2014
    I screwed up! The dimensions were supposed to read: 14' 2" long, and 16 1/2 " wide. Sorry for the wrong dimensions, just got my fingers on the wrong keys!

  • Nancy Hetrick Nancy Hetrick on May 06, 2014
    The planter gets full southern exposure with lots of sun.

  • You could plant just about any sun loving plant or ornamental grasses. Just be sure that the planter has drainage.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on May 07, 2014
    I agree with Heather. You have lots of options. Black-eyed susans, coneflowers and phlox would be naturals to mix in with annuals, and ornamental grasses would provide winter interest.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on May 07, 2014
    I keep posting this picture of my mailbox with just grasses and some color. There are so many different grasses that are manageable that work well. Mine are perennials...Dusty Miller (trim back about once a month in growing season), Cordyline (the maroon spikes), Variegated Lariope (cut down just before new grow starts in spring). I then plant in a couple of Gerber Daisys for color. These stay pretty all winter here. This requires little care, comes back every year (even some of the daisys do) and the only the daisys need more water. I am at the age where I cannot work in the yard like I used to so I have to use things that require so little work.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on May 07, 2014
      @Nancy Hetrick Those spiky cordlines are so neat and add a lot. Just use any number of perennials in different greens and put in color about every foot or so!

  • Pat J. Sliwinski Pat J. Sliwinski on May 07, 2014
    Hi Nancy, If you are stuck on using annuals only save your seeds. I save all my seeds for my gardens and I have 7 different ones. I start my seeds inside ( I live In New Jersey ) I can't tell you how many flowers I have. But I also agree with Douglas plant perennials. One of my favorite is the phlox and hostas but the deer eat them here. So I put them in a pots up on my deck.

  • Nancy Hetrick Nancy Hetrick on May 11, 2014
    Liked the idea of using lower plants in the front, I'm using Dark red geraniums in the middle, and spikes in the back. The top of my planter is dark forest green, so it should be striking.