One of the easiest and cheapest ways to create a welcoming, front porch or entry is with container gardens.  Two tall planters filled with a dazzling array of seasonal flowers and plants immediately creates a sense of warmth, sophistication, and a “Hey, someone actually lives here!” vibe.

Picking the right planters for your front porch can be a tough decision.  The color and style of the planter should accentuate the architecture and color of your home’s exterior, and be a reflection of your personality too. They are, after all, one of the few design elements everyone can see!

Our home is a newer construction, craftsman-style, with a small concrete entryway.  I’ve been searching for tall planters with clean modern lines (either oval or rectangular) in either a concrete, slate, or copper for several seasons now, but kept coming up short.  I thought it would be impossible to find something like this or this for under $100-$200 and since $400 is quite the investment for two pots, I’ve been holding out until I found the perfect fit.

It should be no surprise that my perfect pot search ended at Target.  I think Target’s collection of home goods gets better every season and this spring was no exception.  I found two, rectangular, solid concrete planters at our local Target for $50 each!  I can’t find the exact planter online because I think they’re only sold in the store, but here are pots from the same collection.

For my spring plants, I wanted something that was modern, pretty, and fairly easy to maintain. (I’m not exactly known for having outstanding horticulture skills…)  Our little porch gets partial sunlight throughout the day, so I also had to be mindful of that when choosing the plants.

While browsing through the April 2016 edition of Southern Living Magazine, I came across an article on container garden ideas in several styles – traditional, rustic, modern, and romantic.  All of the looks were stunning, but I particularly loved the modern arrangements.  The designer combined low-maintenance evergreens like little boxwood trees and rosemary with seasonal annuals and succulents.  The picture below shows the tall planters and arrangements from the Southern Living article.

Modern Container Garden

 

I just loved the idea of using evergreens and succulents as “base” plants and switching out colorful plants as the seasons change.  I also really loved the pops of purple foliage in these arrangements ( It would go perfectly with the wreath currently hanging on the front door). Since I know very little about plants and sometimes get overwhelmed in garden centers (So much to choose from!), I decided to take the magazine with me and use the suggested plants as my guide.  Here’s how our arrangements turned out:

Modern Container Garden

Shopping at several local garden stores including The Garden Shed and Josh’s Farmer’s Market in Mooresville, and our local Lowes, we found a beautiful mix of plants.  Our arrangements didn’t turn out exactly like the ones in the Southern Living article, but I absolutely LOVE them!  They look modern, feminine, and a little edgy all at the same time!

Modern Container Garden

I was orginally set on having a small boxwood, similar to the far-right arrangement in the inspiration photo, but I found beautiful rosemary and lavender to use instead.  (I also feared a boxwood would be too big for the container, not leaving enough room for other plants.)

Modern Container Garden

Aren’t the colors, textures, shapes and varying plant sizes just so gorgeous?  I’m telling you, if I can put together an arrangement this good, anyone can!  Here are a few tricks though:

  • When starting with a large vessel, layer the bottom with some foam or another light filler (we used large pieces of dried bark from our backyard).  This way you won’t be wasting good soil and the planters won’t weigh a ton.
  • Use a good-quality potting soil with peat moss and fertilizer.  We used this one from Lowes.
  • Plant similar plants together – be attentive to the levels of light and moisture each plant will need.
  • When placing multiple arrangements in the same area, keep the designs similar but not exact – this will create visual interest. For example, I planted rosemary in one container and lavender in the other, added three of those beautiful red succulents to one pot, and just one in the other.

 

Modern Container Garden

That deep burgundy succulent – a Cherry Tart Stonecrop Sun Sparkler – is amazing!  It really pulls in the colors from the door mat and pops against the other green plants and pale pink and purple foliage.

Modern Container Garden

The Twilight Primrose plant with the pale pink flowers is a favorite too – it just screams femininity to me.

Modern Container Garden

If you don’t have a favorite local nursery, you shouldn’t have a problem finding most of these plants in a large garden center.  I was amazed at the plant selections at our Lowes this spring!

Here’s the breakdown of the plants we used to create these beautiful arrangements:

Modern Container Garden
  1. Meadow Sage –  a flowering evergreen
  2. Hardy evergreen herb plants like rosemary and lavender
  3. Succulents
  4. “Cherry Tart” Stonecrop – an evergreen
  5. Woodland Phlox – a perennial
  6. Twilight Primose – a perennial
Modern Container Garden

I hope these container gardens inspire you to beautify your entryways and porches this spring too! I can’t wait to see how each plant grows and flowers through late spring, summer, and fall.  I’ll be back with more pictures and hopefully some helpful tips as the seasons progress.