Seasonal 15

Fall Staging – Pretty Up Your Porch

There is definitely a chill in the air today and our planters and porches are crying out for some fabulous Autumn prettiness. Regardless of your style mums, potted kale, peppers and pumpkins of different shapes and size can take your outdoor living space from “eww” to “ooh la la”.

A few tips for the perfect Fall porch…

Getting started:

Clear your summer flowers out of your containers. Some annuals like dusty miller and silver falls vine are very hearty, will last long into November and add a gorgeous muted tone to traditional Autumn container plantings so leave them in should you wish. Take down your summer wreath and remove any extra staging like pillows in bright summer colours, bright containers and your barely there hanging baskets.

Select your plants and decor:

Your local greenhouse, pumpkin farmers and even road side veggie/fruit stands offer a plethora of goodies for your planters and porch. Decide on a colour palette in varying hues and always pick up something in a white, grey or pale green. Mums are the base of your design and add depth and texture to the overall look. For my large containers I use one mum in an eight inch pot, one potted pepper in a four inch pot and 2 potted ornamental kales in six inch pots. For urns and smaller containers use the same size mum and one each of the kale and peppers. In addition, pick up pumpkins in varying shapes and sizes. I love white and sage green pumpkins as well as the traditional orange because they add whimsy and anchor the overall styling. Small gourds, pie pumpkins, hay bales and corn stalks are also lovely additions…stick with what you feel is your style. Hay bales may not work with the size of your porch or the style of your frontage.


Remove all of the root balls and about 6 inches of the summer planting soil out of your containers. If you are leaving any vines or hearty annuals simply dig around them. Remove the pot from the largest of the mums, loosen or score the root ball and plant in the middle but as far back as the container will allow. Fill around the mum to the crown of the plant and the lip of the container with fresh potting soil. In front of the mum plant your peppers and kale following the same planting standards as the mum. Layering is key for the perfect planting.

On a roll with the love of your fall planting? Fill your window boxes, crates and hanging baskets.

Final touches:

Add natural berry garlands, wreaths, birch poles, pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks to add more layers and texture to your staging. Finish the look with lanterns on side tables or at the base of your containers and autumnal pillows on chairs and outdoor furniture.

image credits: Bryan Caporicci Photography

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