Opening all the windows in your home is one of the first sure signs spring has arrived! After a long winter, you might notice your home is in need of a little love. Tackling spring cleaning is much easier if you open all the windows, turn up some great music and get moving!
For those born with green thumbs, gardening might be a labor of love. But for us black-thumb gardeners, it's hard to know where to start and how to confidently decorate with plants. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be a master gardener to assemble your own front porch planter.
Pella Corporation Master Gardener Duane Rempe has the scoop on how to create a welcoming front porch with seasonal planter box tips and tricks.
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Why should a homeowner consider adding fresh seasonal planters to their front porch?
Planters make any entryway appear welcoming to family and friends, and adds curb appeal to those walking or driving by. Choosing the right types of flowers can also help homeowners celebrate the seasons.
In the spring, create a planter that has violas, pansies, tulips or daffodils
In the summer, look for flowers that match your sun or shade porch conditions. Petunias, begonias and verbenas look especially great this time of year.
Popular choices for fall include mums, ornamental cabbage, ornamental peppers, sedum or ornamental grasses.
In the winter, try combining cuttings of evergreens, sumac, red twig dogwood and holly.
How can homeowners add variety and get creative with their planters?
First you want to think about your different flower pot options. There are wooden crates, baskets, metal wash tubs, traditional clay pots or even colored pots. Look for containers that are able to hold water, or you'll need to nestle a smaller pot inside it. Think creatively, and whatever pot you select, use contrasting colors or colorful leaves to make the planter pop. If you want a monochromatic look, use different shades of the same color. Accessories can add a fun touch to planters. For example:
Spring: Mini-birdhouses, metal birds or flowers, Easter eggs
Summer: American flags, fairy garden decorations, sea shells
Fall: Pumpkins, gourds, watering cans, burlap, twine
Winter: Stuffed snowmen, lights, candy canes, pinecones, ribbon, ornaments
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Is there anything homeowners should avoid when assembling planters?
A good tip, if you ever have a question about planters, is to always ask the experts at your local garden center. Watch out for plants that will get too large for the planters or spread in front of the door. Some plants are higher maintenance, like roses, lilies, tulips and dahlia. Others are low maintenance, like irises, coneflowers, hibiscus and succulents.
You also want to avoid buying flowers that might be nearly done blooming. For example, in the fall don't buy mums that are on the end of their bloom. Buy plants with buds that are just showing color for the longest bloom time. One last tip: Avoid buying plants that look like they may be struggling, i.e., brown spots, yellow spots, decay from bugs, etc.
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How can homeowners create a front porch planter that fits their budget?
Use plants that will give the most color and bloom time to get the best value out of your planters. High-quality plants will give you longer life and color for your planter.
Could your front door be in need of replacement? Learn more about what to look for when it’s time to upgrade.