Sick of impatiens!
giggles60
September 14, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I have a front porch that runs the entire front of my house. It calls for something to hang between the posts. For years I've been using hanging baskets of impatiens because it's entirely in the shade all day. I'm growing tired of them. Also, as you can tell from the pictures, even the impatiens aren't doing well in some of the baskets. On the inside of the porch there are no blossoms at all, only from the street side and even there they are uneven. My house is dark brown so I need something light colored or it will just blend in with the house. I've considered lanterns but I'm not sure. Any suggestions would be welcome. Any landscaping suggestions would be appreciated as well. I think this landscaping is too symmetrical for a more rustic feeling house.
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juicyfruits
I just got back from a day of garage sales. One of the houses was a standout! Now if you really want to liven things up and throw in some color and brightness this is what had happened at this house. He painted all of the wood purple. Now this was a stone house, so we are only talking about the portico. Then he had hanging, under the roof, but on either side of the front door, two beautiful large orange chinese round silk laterns. It was stunningl. He had brought these back from China, and they were beautiful. We live in the Midwest-- where so many people do the same things with the same colors. It was refreshing. The purple was not a dark in your face -- the paint had been cooled down by adding white to the purple. Is the main part of your house brick?
September 14, 2012 at 11:49am     
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giggles60
No, it's all wood. My husband would freak if I painted any of it purple. We live in the Midwest too. Illinois.
September 14, 2012 at 11:56am   
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lionnessone
Get yourself some old rustic wooden windows, use outdoor paint and add your own artistic style of art on the glass pane (one of a kind art). Place the painted surface facing the house. You can also paint the wooden frame if you choose to. Hang them between each column using rustic chains. Don’t forget to attach the chain to the bottom of the frame to secure them to the railing so the wind will not blow the windows back and forth. You can attach solar lights in the middle of the outside (facing the street) of each frame too illuminate your art pieces. That way you can see your art at night. Put up workable outdoor curtains on either end of your porch. Work on your landscape by adding colourful plants that bloom during the seasons. Have fun! [houzz=Back Yard Shade Garden][houzz=Garden Path]
September 14, 2012 at 1:25pm     
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alwaysdesigning
Just add some wonderful perennials to the bed of already established shrubs. They are carefree and easy keepers. Purple coneflowers, Russian sage, any kind of sage, rosemary (evergreen here in TX, nice and shrubby and smells good too), and throw in some annual begonias around the edges and you are good to go. Just an occasional trim up for the perennials to keep them tidy (once or twice in summer) and it is pretty effortless and they are drought tolerant. For the hanging baskets, my vincas are nice to have (annuals, also good in the border), and begonias do well in baskets. Good luck.
September 14, 2012 at 4:49pm     
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juicyfruits
Ahh Giggles-- tell your husband that the two of you need to be a little adventureous! Its only paint! You could paint the railing white and paint the "Y"s purple and the door purple. If you want color--than---! Another idea--between the "Y"s hang big baskets of geraniums?!
September 18, 2012 at 4:30pm   
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cyn222
Something with boulders, flowers and maybe a dry creekbed of through the berms for interest.
October 12, 2012 at 7:56pm     
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giggles60
@ cyn222 Love it! Thanks!
October 13, 2012 at 9:17am   
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feeny
My favorite substitute annual for impatiens is torenia. It grows and flowers profusely in complete shade, but also likes partial shade/sun, and it is good either planted in beds or hanging baskets, where it drapes beautifully over the sides. It comes in lots of shades of deep purples to pinks (and even a yellow, I think), many of them two toned. They look just a bit like snap dragons.
October 13, 2012 at 9:28am   
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feeny
A picture of torenia:
October 13, 2012 at 9:34am     
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Elise
Try growing annual vines for color. Scarlet runner bean is colorful and edible also. You have the perfect structure for twining vines. Jasmine would take awhile to get established, but smells wonderful!
I love the idea of colorful lamps hung also!
October 13, 2012 at 9:38am     
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giggles60
Thanks feeny!
October 13, 2012 at 9:39am   
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Elyn's Library
Haunt the thrift stores or look for inexpensive, good-sized bird cages - in various shapes - to replace each of the baskets.. Scrub them down well, allow to dry completely and spray paint a pretty color or even simple white. Place one or more 4" or 6" battery operated, timed, LED pillar candle in each one. Not a lot of light, but a very pretty glow, lovely on a porch in the dusk or early evening.

Hint: to increase the light a bit, you can line the bottom of the cages with a reflective surface, even aluminum foil, shiny side up will work.
October 13, 2012 at 10:11am     
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giggles60
@ Elise. I looked up Scarlet Runner Beans and they are very pretty, and I like the fact that you can eat them. What I found was they need full sun. Do you know of a variety that can grow in part sun? That area gets some full sun in the afternoon and evening.
October 13, 2012 at 10:49am   
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PRO
Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
I love feeny's suggestion of torenia. We use it here mixed with asparagus fern and begonias in shade baskets and it fills out nicely.

Also, I have a friend with a log home - almost exact same front porch. She purchased several old salvaged windows and had paintings done on them and hung them up between the posts.
October 13, 2012 at 11:39am   
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janishill
Torenia is a lovely plant and blooms like crazy IF you are in Florida or other tropical/semi-tropical areas. I don't know that it will do well in Michigan.
October 13, 2012 at 4:10pm   
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mmers
Paint your front door something bright. Is there a pot to the right of the porch? Get something that matches the front door. I have full shade in the front of my house too. My siding is light so we put a dark blue door in, also black numbers, and I put big pots of begonias out front. Also some of the coleus are almost lime coloured - they'd look good too out front of your home. And what about some of the brighter variegated hostas? They might be good. Good luck with this!
October 13, 2012 at 4:40pm     
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angela428
Hi,
I too have a porch very large 14 feet deep by 40 feet long and turn the corner for 60 feet. Large and lots of places for impatients and ivy and green stuff guaranteed to grown no matter what, nothing worked, it just made me crazy, so I took it down. I purchased poles and the clips that hold flags and then I hung flags from everyone in this crazy family, American, Polish, Irish, English, Scottish, Wales, Austria, Italy and Spain I would have one or two extra openings I forget, but I purchased flags I liked Italy and something else. Looks great. Everyone stops when they drive by it's colorful, represents who we are a nation of people from many places and if you wish to add a flag you may.
Try it it is fun. Also, Sailors flags are great and each one is for a letter, so you can spell something you been dying to say to everyone or Merry Holidays Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas whatever you wish, they look stunning and are great color small and go from column to column for a big 14.00.
Never have to water again and you look like the grand dame of the street. As to painting, I can also advise you never paint a porch, stain a porch everyone will tell you that. Except those who have no porch. Stain, stain, stain.
And for chairs, hanging rockers are great, hanging funky chairs and fun. I think porches should be a place to gather for sunset, have a cocktail, tell stories, plant citronella and you have no problem and watch the flags in the wind.
The alternate scheme is lights, just light it up with white lights from post to post. It makes a wonderful night look.
HAVE FUN on the porch, I do not think we all have to be the same. And, I am tired of paying for plants for a year.
October 13, 2012 at 5:48pm     
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Pawnee True Value
You have a lovely house but the porch needs some definition. The posts blend in and you can't see them as you should. A white or off white on the posts would make a huge difference in the way you percieve or see your house. Same way with the door. Pick a color that compliments but pops and then take another look at your landscaping. Your landscaping is gorgeous.
October 13, 2012 at 6:21pm   
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Pawnee True Value
You have a lovely house but the porch needs some definition. The posts blend in and you can't see them as you should. A white or off white on the posts would make a huge difference in the way you percieve or see your house. Same way with the door. Pick a color that compliments but pops and then take another look at your landscaping. Your landscaping is gorgeous.
October 13, 2012 at 6:21pm   
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rawketgrl
Impatient with Impatiens! How about ferns? Or rope lights under the roof line? They will glow down on porch, long skinny window boxes with ground cover/flowers on a few of the railings, Old windows are cool hanging decor. My mom hangs a few old mason jars with candles, Great yard plants, just add more to fill in and plant many bulbs now for WOW in spring... the pic with the RV has a kind of cheesy planter box but the placement of the 2 ferns near the posts and the window box on rail in center is cute. You have a beautiful house, and what a fun porch to decorate for Christmas! I am thinking of topiary trees by my posts this year... Have fun, :D
October 13, 2012 at 7:34pm   
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janishill
I have been wanting to respond to this, but haven't had the time until now.

rawketgrl has a great idea with long skinny planters, but if you want hanging baskets try combining these plants: coleus, begonias, varigated vinca, ivy geraniums, ivy, and 'Painted Paradise' impatients. (see photo of Impatients 'Painted Paradise"

I would not worry about hanging baskets or skinny planters either one. I would put up rope lights around the porch ceiling for a soft glow at night and I would hang large mirrors in the empty spaces between the windows on both sides. They would reflect the sunlight and really brighten the porch.

I would also paint the front door BM Yellow Oxide (2154-10) http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/yellowoxide or BM Peanut Butter (2159-20) http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/peanutbutter Either one of these colors will blend in with the surroundings yet say 'Here the front door.'

The next thing I would do is put in Annabelle hydrangeas across the front.

Then I would sit back for a year and see how these changes look in every season before deciding if I wanted to add Ferns, hostas and other shade loving plants to the planting beds.

Or you may like the second design down for your beds:http://erthturf.com/DesignsPerennialShadeGardens.html
I would use a camelia or a butterfly bush and forget the magnolia, but that is just me.

And lastly I would make sure to keep that cute pooch outside as much as possible because he is the main attraction! ;-)

Please keep us updated!
October 14, 2012 at 8:55am     
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giggles60
Thank you for all the suggestions! I think I will incorporate some ideas from each of them. But keep the suggestions coming. Thanks!!!
October 14, 2012 at 10:18am   
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rawketgrl
Hi giggles60 I agree with many of the great Houzzer's here that your front door needs a pop of color. Color on or near the door would add some depth to the porch and house. If you cannot paint the door, maybe a corner swag to draw the eye in. Maybe a wreath but with the window on your door I am not sure you want to cover it, maybe the wreath lower on the door. Or a metal art scroll painted a bright white (or any color you love) over the door, I have also seen pretty neat wood and plastic scroll art for this application. Years ago I found several metal art panels at a good will near me and painted them the same color as my trim and hung it on an old house of mine. What a fun project, post some picks when you can! :D
October 14, 2012 at 11:01am   
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Elise
Hello again Giggles60! Sorry, but as I don't know where you live, you would need to look up appropriate plants for your growing zone. Scarlet runner beans grew well for me on the west side of my garage facing into my backyard, shaded most of the day. They had to grow in the shade of the apple tree also. Give them a headstart by planting in peat pots indoors in the winter, ready to put out as soon as able.
http://plantfinder.sunset.com/plant-home.jsp
October 14, 2012 at 4:15pm   
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lesliedgoodman
Hanging ferns should do well
October 14, 2012 at 4:31pm   
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ikwewe
I like Boston ferns between the pillars, and if you want color get some garlands at Michael's and weave them in, any kind you want.
October 14, 2012 at 5:01pm   
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PRO
Blanford Design
I suggest that you eleiminate the lawn between the sidewalk and railing. Also eliminate the alternating shrubs that is very 1950ish and detracts from the rustic feel of your home. I suggest planting Limelight Hydrangea as a backgrond plant against the rail. When the blooms come out they are a whiteish green and fade to white then pink in the fall. They will also add winter interest with a brown seed head. Adding hanging ferns, between the posts will compliment the architecture and planting. The front of the bed should be a low groundcover such as sedum ternatum, flower in the shade with purple coralbell layered behind. You can also add pink turtlehead, which will also flower int he shade and add height. The concept is layering the plant material and keeping a rustic feel to compliment the architecture of the home.
October 29, 2012 at 2:06pm     
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marycifuentes
put some lights in. if u don;t want to hang a plant or have planters on porch, then don't, they won;t grow so why bother... i would consider planting a few trees on the front lawn....break up the view... maybe some sitting cushions in bright colors....
October 29, 2012 at 2:19pm   
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giggles60
@ Blanford design. Thank you so much for your suggestions. I've never liked the alternating bushes and felt they didn't match the rustic feel of the house. I will go online and look up the items you suggested. Do you have any suggestions for the other side of the side walk? I appreciate any help or suggestions from all.
October 30, 2012 at 7:26am   
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