When it comes to outside landscape and decor, I get EXTREMELY overwhelmed. Like not just a little bit but A LOT a bit. I never know what to choose, or how to pair different plants; what needs sun and what needs shade, how much water to give and how do you know when it’s time to “feed” them again. You see what I’m saying? It’s just A LOT to think about and often times just the thought of it can deter you from it all together.
But what I’ve come to learn about myself is, it’s much easier to just ask for help in areas where you don’t exactly thrive in (ahem…plants), versus trying to become a professional through your own efforts and will power. That is why I LOVE planning my spring planting at Prairie Gardens (also Jeffrey Alans in other locations). They not only provide you with top notch quality in plants but impeccable service and professional knowledge on the subject matter. And because you guys know I love to share new things that I learn, I thought today I would share with you a few easy porch decorating tips and tricks that I’ve learned from them along the way!
Porch Decorating Tips & Tricks
First and most importantly….know your landscape! Which side of your house gets sun, what gets shade, or maybe you have an entire house submerged in foliage giving your partial sun most days. Whatever it is, know your house! This will make plant shopping so much easier and give you a better focus when looking for your next big porch statement.
Second, select a focal color and build your color pallet around that color or colors! It will help narrow down your selection and give you even clearer vision/focus for the desired space.
*As you can see we chose purple and pink to be our main focus for this space and I couldn’t be happier.
Third, don’t over complicate things. If you aren’t into planting yourself, grab an already arranged hanging plant basket and literally just set it into your pot! You can remove the hanger and botta-boom you’ve got a beautifully assembled pot! At the end of the day you’d probably spend just as much on a pot that you arranged yourself vs one that’s been pre-arranged so cut yourself some slack and go for the easier route! Am I right!?
Next, don’t worry about being so “matchy matchy.” Not everything has to be so symmetrical.
*In my case, I have one side of my porch that gets full sun 9+ hours out of the day and the other side gets mostly shade in the summer. So we had to piece together a pot of plants that did well in all shade and another that did well in all sun. We stayed true to our color pallet but created a different look in each pot and guess what? It still works!
Pick a “thriller, a filler, and a spiller.” At Prairie Gardens, they encourage their customers to add depth and dimensions to their pots by picking three different kids of plants per pot: a thriller (something tall that will give your pot height), a filler (something that will fill up the base of your pot and add depth), and a spiller (something that will cascade over the edge of the pot creating dimension). It’s such a great thing to remember when you’re feeling overwhelmed with what should go with what. As long as you stay within the same light requirements per pot, your potting options are pretty endless and so fun!
Mix and match your style of plants! This year I went all out and added a little tropical vibe to my front porch by introducing some palms to the space. This not only gave it a completely different feel but it added such a dynamic element to this huge space. You don’t have to keep your plant style all the same, you can add in different textures by adding in a variety of plant types!
Bring your house plants outdoors! What’s beautiful about midwest summers is that outdoor plants can thrive in your outdoor setting. Not only does give your plants a change of scenery but it adds such a decorative element to your outdoor space.
Lastly, don’t forget to ask for help! At Prairie Gardens they have experienced and trained staff members there that KNOW. THEIR. STUFF. when it comes to plants. They are extremely knowledgeable and will work with you to answer any questions you have. Give them full reign and they’ll even take all the guess work out of it and make the decisions for you (that’s what I did!). All in all, they are incredible to work with and make outdoor decorating super fun!
If you’re in the Champaign-Urbana area, or located near a Jeffrey Alans store (locations listed below) be sure to head in to the greenhouse this weekend to snag some amazing deals and experience their every changing array of pots, plants, trees & more.
*Still in need of a little help? Here are some GREAT articles written by the experienced staff here at Prairie Gardens to ensure your green thumb success! :)
3000 W Springfield Ave, Champaign, IL 61822
701 Towanda Ave, Normal, IL 61761
1602 Wabash Ave, Springfield, IL 62704
3349 S US Hwy 41, Terre Haute, IN 47802
4601 N Sheridan Rd, Peoria, IL 61614
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