Porch Color: Plants, Pots, and Process


Spring is all around us, from the blooming redbuds and chocolate chip ajuga (my personal favorite) alongside the cheerful melodies of nesting birds. Let’s bid farewell to winter’s starkness and bring some charm and color to that porch! Stepping into the lively season of spring is easier than you think with the right combination of plants, pots, and process of crafting it. Let’s explore the essentials to help you create a botanical wonder, that elevates your outdoor space and inspires your neighbors!

Plants: Blooms with Color

To create a captivating container garden that flourishes in the Middle Tennessee climate, it’s essential to select plants that not only tolerate but thrive in our conditions. Here are some delightful spring-flowering plant options:

Pansies (Viola × wittrockiana)
Bloom Time: Pansies typically bloom from early spring until the heat of summer.
Colors: Pansies come in a wide array of colors, including purple, yellow, orange, and blue.
Cool Fact: Pansies are not just pretty faces – they’re edible too! These charming blooms are often used to garnish salads or desserts, adding a pop of color and a subtle floral flavor.

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Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)
Bloom Time: Snapdragons bloom from late spring to early summer.
Colors: Snapdragons are available in an assortment of hues, including pink, red, yellow, white, and purple.
Unusual Fact: The name “snapdragon” comes from the flower’s unique appearance. When you gently squeeze the sides of the bloom, it opens its “mouth” like a dragon’s, revealing a tongue-like structure inside.

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Petunias (Petunia × hybrida)
Bloom Time: Petunias bloom profusely from spring until the first frost in fall.
Colors: Petunias showcase a vibrant spectrum of colors, from bold reds and pinks to soft pastels and striking purples.
Fun Fact: Petunias are popular for their ability to attract hummingbirds with their brightly colored blooms and sweet nectar. These delightful visitors add an extra touch of magic to your garden.

Chocolate Chip Ajuga (Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’)
Bloom Time: Chocolate Chip Ajuga blesses us with its blooms from late spring to early summer, gracing the garden with its charming presence.
Colors: Its flowers display a range of hues from delicate lavender to deep purple, complementing the rich chocolate tones of its foliage.
Interesting Fact: Beyond its visual appeal, Chocolate Chip Ajuga offers more than meets the eye. Its leaves emit a subtle fragrance when brushed, adding a delightful sensory dimension to the garden. Moreover, like lavender, it holds potential for herbal remedies, contributing both beauty and practicality to your outdoor space.

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Dianthus (Dianthus spp.)
Bloom Time: Dianthus blooms from late spring to midsummer.
Colors: Dianthus blooms come in an array of colors, including pink, red, white, purple, and bicolor combinations.
Fabulous Fact: The name “dianthus” is derived from the Greek words “dios,” meaning divine, and “anthos,” meaning flower. These charming flowers have been cherished for centuries for their delicate beauty and delightful fragrance.

Pots: Elevating Your Style

When it comes to selecting pots for your container garden, form doesn’t always follow function. For instance, French country pots often feature rustic charm with distressed finishes and intricate detailing, perfect for adding a touch of vintage elegance to your porch. A great example would be this lovely Bergs pot. On the other hand, modern pots boast clean lines and minimalist designs, ideal for creating a sleek contemporary look. At our garden center, we offer a wide selection of pots in store and online here in various styles to suit your taste and elevate your outdoor decor.

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Process: Crafting Your Botanical Ensemble

Creating a successful container garden is all about balance and composition, and the “thriller, filler, spiller” technique offers a foolproof formula for achieving stunning results. The “thriller” plant serves as the focal point, adding height and drama to your arrangement. This could be a tall grass like Miscanthus or a striking spike plant such as Dracaena. The “filler” plants, positioned around the thriller, add volume and color, filling in the space between the taller centerpiece and the trailing spillers. Choose plants with contrasting textures and complementary hues to create visual interest. Finally, the “spiller” plants cascade over the edges of the container, softening its edges and adding a sense of movement. Trailing petunias, ivy, and sweet potato vine are excellent choices for spillers.

But don’t forget about soil in our containers. That’s something that most people overlook – they get caught up with the beauty of the flowers. But, actually, the soil is the most important component, because that’s what’s going to feed our beautiful plants and give them nutrients. You want to get the best quality potting soil that you can for your containers with lots of micronutrients. We have great quality soil and different brands to choose from at Gardens of Babylon!

Pro tip: If you have pots that dry out throughout the day, buy some play sand to place in bottom of your containers and this will hold more moisture for you throughout the season! 

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Ready to bring a splash of color to your porch? Visit the Garden Center to find the right soil, plants, and pots for your project. Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you every step of the way. And if you’re short on time or expertise, don’t hesitate to reach out to our botanical design team – we’ll handle all the work for you, from plant selection to arrangement. Let us help you turn your container garden dreams into reality!

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