ideas for a clean canvass front porch

jollyrd(Richmond VA)October 12, 2012

Greetings. I am interested in your comments re this group of plants -- overall color combination of this group; how it will look throughout four seasons; and what color should I chose for pots that I intend to use on the steps, to display seasonal annuals.

It is intended for the front porch area. The porch faces due east. The bed length - 25 ft, width (after it will be widened this fall to make more space) - 5 ft. The soil (clay mostly) will be improved with composted leaves, kitchen compost we make ourselves.

The only permanent plants in the bed are Lady In Red Hydrangea on the north side (by the steps) and Bergman's Gold on the south end (by the gravel driveway). They are doing great in those spots, been there for over 3 years, and are not going anywhere. So the line up from left to right would be: Bergman's Gold, Nandina, Elderberry, Rhododendron Capistrano, Beautyberry, Lady In Red Hydrangea. Lower level plants - color variations of coleus & verbena, repeated in multiples as needed.

I like purples and red of all shades, and some bright yellow. I can see later down the road adding some lavender, salvia, yellow alliums, some purple grassy plants, or other flowering plans - to fill in the void if any.

I have a grey rancher, burgundy shutters, white vinyl porch rails, wood stained porch. The house is elevated on the basement - so it sits about 3-4 ft above ground. The porch is held up with red brick columns, and the space between the columns is filled with brown vinyl lattice. After I widen the bed, there will be a pathway immediately in front of it - from the parking/driveway to the steps, - I will be using stepping stones - Tan Charcoal Portage Patio Stone.

[my last hope: please don't let the design guy see my post, LOL]

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jollyrd(Richmond VA)

I think this would help ...

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 12:18PM
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jollyrd(Richmond VA)

I cleaned out the weeds, layed down composted material (mostly leaves and branches), covered it with newspaper layers. The good news is there were lots of long worms in the ground already. The bed ended up being slightly over 7 feet wide, 31 feet long. Hydrangea spreads 5 feet wide, the Berckman Gold - 3 feet wide. From ground to bottom porch there is 4 feet, and 3 feet of white railing height.

I am interested in your opinion on the plant selection. Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 10:35AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Will all the shrubs fit? Will you have room to repeat a few to avoid a literal "lineup"? Is there enough variety in the plant foliage texture, habits and structures to differentiate the plants when not in bloom? The coleus will be an annual. The photo pastiche, honestly, gives me a feeling of the plants competing with each other for attention; but it probably doesn't represent how the plants will actually look growing together.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 12:15PM
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jollyrd(Richmond VA)

Thanks. The Bed is 7+ ft wide, 31+ feet long; faces due East, full sun until noon, full shade after 2 pm.
I plan to only have one of each shrubs in that bed. I âÂÂcouldâ later consider planting one of them in the bed on the other side of the steps. I can do without the Beautyberry if I had to, I can find a place for it in another area.

The year-around interest is what I was hoping to get others to comment on. I did my own research and this is what I found.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 4:26PM
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