Fall Project: Front Porch Flowerbed

Fall Project: Front Porch Flowerbed

Grace Shu
Oct 12, 2009

Last Sunday, I opted to watch a crap movie instead of tackling my Fall list of Things To Do around the house; so this Sunday, I'm trying to make up for lost time. After replacing the fill tank in the toilet and the chipped faucet handle in the shower, I went over to Armstrong's Garden center in Pasadena to pick up some plants for the front yard...

As you can see from the first photo, the only thing that survived this summer's late heat wave were some vincas--the petunias got fried, and even my gardenia shriveled to a sad, sad thing. Luckily, the gardenia got rescued in time before it totally died (it spent the good part of August inside the back house and even managed to bloom). I admit that I'm a bit of an impulsive shopper when it comes to gardening--basically anything that looks colorful and reasonably priced, I'll buy it. Unfortunately, this often comes back to bite me as most of my flower selections in the past have only lasted one season instead of year-round. This, coupled with my terrible lack of vigilance, has certainly led to a few weeks (or months) of having a bare flowerbed or three. So this fall, I decided to take a more vested interest in what goes in the ground. Thanks to the helpful people at Armstrongs, I opted to go for green and purple plants instead of my usual selection of flowers.

Since my porch is in sun/part shade, I went with hardier plants: The bright yellow-green plants are Marguerite sweet potato vines that are trailers, and I hope when they really start growing, they'll spill over the top of the brick border. As for the purple plants, I really wanted the purple leaf oxalis, but it required full shade. So I went with the purple variety of the sweet potato vine, and then took a few clippings of the white vincas to give it a similar look.

To combat the loose, sprawling quality of the sweet potato vines, I wanted something a bit more angular to keep things interesting. The daniella plants were my last picks--the striped leaves of green and white with a touch of pink seem to go with the other plants, but I love the shape of these plants. Most importantly, all of these plants are pretty hardy and drought-tolerant, so even if I do slip back into my bad habit of forgetting to water, my flowerbed won't die out too quickly!

Are you planting a garden or flowerbed this fall? Share it with us in the comments!

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