The front porch has a special place in American history. It’s the ideal place to drink a cup of coffee in the morning or converse with family while dinner is cooking. Porches also encourage neighbors and passersby to stop for a moment and say hello. These front porch-landscaping ideas will get your porch in shape for spring and summer.
Extend your porch. Don’t have much of a front porch to speak of? You can extend it. Whether you extend it forward a bit or wrap it around the side, a larger porch creates space for comfortable furniture, as well as planters and container gardens. Things to consider:
- Include lattice or some kind of skirting around the bottom to keep critters out
- If you wrap it around, add another set of stairs so you have more than one way to enter/exit
- Instead of a formal walkway, use stepping stones or space large pavers for access to auxiliary steps
Consider the design. Porch design isn’t all that different from interior design. Consider how the porch is used and amend your decor and furnishings accordingly. Because this is a prelude to your home’s interior, the porch decor should complement your foyer and/or front living spaces.
Create a seamless transition. Create a seamless transition from your driveway and walkway to your porch by planting flowering shrubs and plants that grow as high, or slightly higher, than your porch floor. However, plants shouldn’t be high enough to impede the view. Consider blooming times and a balance of evergreens, so your porch has year-round interest. Lavender, jasmine and sweet peas are beautiful and will also emit a sweet fragrance when they bloom.
Use containers. Container gardening is ideal for porches. Using pots and containers in varying heights and sizes, you can create a layered and interesting front porch landscape. Hanging baskets are also a visual bonus. Make sure to plant ferns, impatiens and other shade-loving plants.