I did some decorating on the front porch of the French Farmhouse last week. To be completely transparent, I did it so that the neighbors can tell that someone actually lives here now and that it's safe for children to come to the door to sell things. Take for example, things like Girl Scout Cookies...
Let's be honest, I don't want to miss out on Thin mints or for that matter, Boy Scout wreaths. I also finally removed the huge iron urn that I brought from my old home from the mud next to the front sidewalk and put it up on a very heavy, three foot tall, concrete stand (I'll bet that you're wondering how I know that it's heavy, aren't you?!) where I filled it with perennials.
Remind me to tell you the story about how the concrete stand was placed in the back of our Chevy Blazer by a man using a forklift and was removed from the back of our Chevy Blazer by just two people (Yes, I was one of them) using nothing more a nylon tow rope tied around the front porch post, a couple of wooden poles, and a whole pile of drop cloths.
It was physics.....and willfulness...and a more than a little imagination.
...Amazingly, no one was injured.
Rather than using annuals like I normally do, I chose to fill the urn things that I can transplant into the new berm that I created along the western boundary of our property two weeks ago. Perennial Heuchera, Ornamental Grass, two types of Sage, Creeping Jenny, Swiss Chard and Kale make up the base for this planting. I also added dried Dark Brown Lotus pods, ferns and other dried seed pods for texture and contrast.
All of these are plants that will hold up well during our cooler Illinois autumn and will be transplanted to the garden in mid-November when I ready the yard for winter. (Don't misunderstand...this year, "ready for winter" will mean turning the bird baths over and raking up the leaves. There's not much to actually take care of...yet.)
My favorite thing about this urn is that there's not a single "flower" in the arrangement...just lots of interesting shapes and textures! My second favorite thing? The next time that it has to be moved, the construction guys will be doing it.
Knowing that we're going to be undertaking a major renovation at the French Farm House in the spring, I've made a conscious choice not to do any landscaping or planting against the house because it will all be destroyed during the construction.
I simply placed a couple of mums in containers and baskets that I already had as well as a couple in the soil near the entry for a little color. I added a few gourds and pumpkins on my bench.
Filling urns and planters with perennials, grasses, and herbs is a different, fun, and cost-effective way to create seasonal displays that can be re-used in the landscape.
If you'd like to see a couple of other ideas, check out my 2012 Fall Pumpkin Planter or the Fall Urn and Planter Ideas Collection for other urns and planters that I've created for friends and businesses in the past couple of years.
Decorating my front porch for fall and filling my urn planter has been a nice way to "introduce myself" to our new neighbors and to let the children in the area know that it's a friendly place to visit...especially if you're selling anything that involves chocolate!
Happy Fall, Everyone!
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