Well, minus the chalk “windows” my daughter drew, our front stoop is shaping up. When we moved into our new house (oh how I wish I’d taken “before” photos!) the front door and shutters were rust-red. Now, I wasn’t a big fan of the 1970s harvest-gold siding to begin with, but seriously…red? I could practically hear the theme song to “Three’s Company” in my head every time I drove up the driveway. So my handy husband heard my plea and painted the shutters black; we bought a new front door (which he also painted); and I spray painted our old pots black as well. It works. Mind you, we have a long way to go until the outside is in tip-top shape. Someday we’ll get rid of the gold siding, but the black tones it down for now. You gotta work with what you have, right?
As for what’s IN the pots, you’ve first gotta choose plants that are suited for containers and for the amount of light you get. I avoid those that bloom only for a short time because I want summer-long color on the porch. Here are my rules of thumb for creating my own containers:
- pick a filler–what your pot is composed mostly of, like geraniums, petunias or impatiens
- pick a spiller–something that will trail down the sides, like ivy or sweet potato vine (which comes in a variety of colors)
- pick something tall–you always need something for height; I almost always use spiky green grasses, but you could sink a small trellis in the pot and train a vine to climb it
- pick something small–here’s where I like to use a contrasting color for some added interest, like the small orange zinnias in those pictured above
This formula seems to create professional-looking pots every time. Give it a whirl!