Sprucing Up the Front Porch with Planter Boxes

Cards on the table, I’ve murdered a few of these plants since taking these photos.

I feel honesty is important when it comes to sharing about home improvement. In this case, the brutal Texas heat proved too lethal for even the “heat tolerant” plants in the garden section of Home Depot.

C’est la vie. Or, that is life in Texas in July.

Our front porch had been bare and drab for quite a while after we moved in. Other things took priority – painting, redoing flooring, de-foresting the backyard, etc… And my prego self had no energy or willpower to put my lack of a green thumb to work sprucing up that space.

But a year and a half after moving in, we tackled it.

There were planter boxes beneath the windows on our porch initially, but they had weathered considerably and were drilled into the house itself. When we went to remove them, we had trouble dismounting them in one piece, so we called an audible and just ripped them out and started from scratch.

The boy built these gorgeous planter boxes from baltic birch found at a local lumberyard in Austin. We’d never used that kind of wood before, but just look at the rich and detailed grain underneath the walnut stain… dreamy.

He used a French cleat system to mount them, where you basically mount one piece of wood with a 45 degree angle that holds another piece of wood mounted on the back of the planter boxes with a 45 degree angle. That way they dismount easily to replant new greenery (which I have to do after the murdering spree).

I initially planted only succulents. But they were all but invisible from a distance. After stalking neighbors’ porches and pausing scenes of Fixer Upper with planter boxes in them, I grabbed a few small ferns and balanced out the boxes with those.

I think there’s still some depth and dimension lacking, but what’s in there immediately brightened our front porch and gave it a more loved, lived-in look. The ferns and thicker-leafed succulents performed admirably against the heat and my negligent watering, but the leafier and thinner succulents withered pretty quickly.

Plant killing aside, I’m delighted with the look and seasonal potential of these cuties!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I just remembered I haven’t watered them in about two weeks.

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