Asked on Jul 22, 2014

Ideas for alternatives to hanging baskets on a porch?

by Tru
I am looking for ideas as alternatives to hanging baskets for a cabin porch. Live flowers are out of the question, because we may not get there for several weeks at a time to water them. I would prefer "old" (but not necessarily antique) recycled/reused objects in keeping with the decor we have been trying to establish, but any ideas are welcome. What we have are 3 beams that are exposed under the roof line. The house is Dungeon Bronze, now and the rail is no longer there, but the pic hopefully shows the beams I'm talking about.
  23 answers
  • Dorothy Dorothy on Jul 22, 2014
    Can you put in a water system on timer? You could have some vining plants on the fencing then. Out in the desert this is about the only way you can grow things unless you want to spend the day watering as most things need daily water out here...."soil" is almost straight sand in some areas and water runs right through it.
    • Tru Tru on Jul 22, 2014
      @Hannah V I had seen that idea. Something along that order, but minus the plants.
  • Sandy Pudoff Sandy Pudoff on Jul 22, 2014
    have you seen living walls made from succulents? Basically made from pallets with weed cloth and felt to make potting pouches the pallets are hung upright from a wall or fence. You can install drip irrigation in them if you can put together legos. Add a timer and you are set. Google or pinterest living walls of plants and just use succulents. You'll be talking about twice monthly watering once established. Don't know about your winter situation, whether you could cover or move into garage or what.
  • Dorothy Dorothy on Jul 22, 2014
    OOPS....missed the fact the rail is gone. Planter boxes with succulents along the walk? Or hanging baskets of draping succulents such as burro's tails? Drought resistant plants such as some prairie type grasses and vines like trumpet vine (virtually indestructible once established and one of the few things that does grow out here without supplemental water on old farmsteads and fencelines).
    • Tru Tru on Jul 22, 2014
      @Dorothy The burro's tails sounds like an idea if I find out nothing else, but I was kind of looking at non plant types of things.
  • Dorothy Dorothy on Jul 22, 2014
    Wind chimes? Not that difficult to make if you have a good hacksaw and drill. I use used barnwood, used horse shoes, conduit pipe in either galvanized steel or copper, some horseshoe nails and various things for the "sail". There's some good internet info on how to measure and tune the pipes so you can go from light/higher tinkle tones to deeper, more base tones. I don't have any in stock at the moment and they take awhile to make the ones I do as there is glass beadwork in the sail and sometimes woodburning on the barn wood....all custom done.
    • Tru Tru on Jul 22, 2014
      @Dorothy Actually, the wind chimes may work with what I have come up with. I was looking on my deck at home and noticed the glass block monogram I had done a few years back. I may try to incorporate the chimes into some sort of glass block hanging decor. I like how the glass blocks don't blow around too much in the wind.
  • Dorothy Dorothy on Jul 22, 2014
    A friend years ago had a bed and breakfast and they hung flags around their property to show all the countries their guests had come from.....colorful and interesting. You could do something similar for places you've visited, locations of family tree members etc.
  • Tru Tru on Jul 22, 2014
    So, I believe my final answer is to do something with glass blocks, as I did a few years ago.(See the pic below and at I am thinking I will either paint or silhouette vinyl some kind of design or phrase on each of 3 blocks and hang each from a beam. I may try to add chimes to the bottom, but we'll see how it works out.
  • Kathryn Gowin Kathryn Gowin on Jul 22, 2014
    wind chimes! they can be made out of almost anything..check pintrist for some great ideas
  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Jul 22, 2014
    old junk turned into wind chimes would be a good inexpensive idea, old strainers with keys, cheese graters and wire wrapped rocks,old wire bait keepers the list goes on only your imagination is needed and have fun xx
  • Dee W Dee W on Jul 22, 2014
    since you are crafty and thrifty, how about a clay pot rain chain?
    • Tru Tru on Jul 22, 2014
      @Dee W Actually, I plan to put a rain chain around the corner to the right, where there is a valley in the roof line. Right now I have an old pedestal sink, planted with succulents below. I'm just waiting to collect enough wine bottles to make a chain.
  • Colleen Colleen on Jul 22, 2014
    Maybe hanging some metal wall art on the building, and use old tires (cut in half) along the sidewalk ( in place of the railing and paint them what ever colors).
  • Distinctive Deck Designs Distinctive Deck Designs on Jul 23, 2014
    Seen many cabins featuring the old oil burning lamps as hanging decor along the exterior. Maybe something along those lines would work for you because you could use LED lights or candles when you ARE there for the exterior lighting?
  • Nancy Hatcher Nancy Hatcher on Jul 23, 2014
    I liked the idea of wind chimes until we put several out on our front porch. However, the silly things would wake us up in the middle of the night with their "chiming". I took down all but one, the one we liked the sound of best, and scattered the rest around in the trees. We slept much better after that.
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Jul 23, 2014
    I like the wind upkeep.hang and you are done!
  • Donna Byram Donna Byram on Jul 23, 2014
    What about a welcome sign or a family sign.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jul 24, 2014
    There are so many adorable things you can hang there. I have wind chimes, birdhouses, mason jar candle holders, bird cages and even some yard angels! I hang them a different levels so they don't bump into each other.
  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Jul 25, 2014
    I love hanging baskets on the porch, however, it is just so everyday. I hung planter chain from my porch and added lanterns. They can be painted to stand out or just left as is. Add some battery operated candles or even real candles with some sand in the bottom of the lanterns so that when they burn out they will not ruin your lanterns. There are so many different varieties to choose from these days. They look very very pretty! Good luck with your search.
  • Rac373664 Rac373664 on Jul 28, 2014
    I have hanging baskets with citronella candles on pulleys on my front porch.
  • Lulu Lulu on Jul 29, 2014
    have u seen the horizontal planters made from gutters? u could hang/stack 3 or 4 and plant anything like succulents or trailing flowers....good luck, lotz of great ideas..cyn
  • Lulu Lulu on Jul 29, 2014
    oh...could also cement lattice arbor in whisky barrels and plant vines n flowers and be able to move around porch or house corners or fence ends,,,,could also plant fence with vines like morning glories or hummingbird vine(pretty tho very prolific seeds).....keep us posted with what u decide to try...cyn
  • Trash Find Redesigned Trash Find Redesigned on Sep 05, 2014
    Funny you should ask... This summer I did not want to deal with hanging baskets on my front porch (I was always cleaning up dead flowers). Anyway, if you look on my photo you can see that I hung (actually I have 2 hanging) an old lantern instead. Found the pair of lanterns for $6 at an estate sale!
    • Tru Tru on Sep 05, 2014
      @Trash Find Redesigned From what I can see, that may be a good alternative; however, I can only see 1/2 the lantern and when i enlarge it, it cuts off the entire top above the plant.
  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Sep 06, 2014
    Same here Tru Lena
  • Terry Terry on Jan 19, 2015
    How about nothing hanging from the porch overhang but adding some shutters to your windows in white or a contrasting color? Would dress up the house nicely in the winter as well as the summer.