Today’s blog post is from a very special guest blogger. I may say that with a bit of bias, as he is my father, but it’s the gosh darn truth! He is husband to Nancy Moore (owner of The Porch Company), a plant connoisseur, a professional photographer and the most genuine and funny man you may ever come across. You can take a look at his photography website here. And without further ado–J. Paul Moore, everyone.
Now that your porch is built and the furnishing and accessorizing is completed (or is well on its way) it’s time to concentrate on the landscaping. There are practical and aesthetic considerations when choosing plant material, and giving this some additional thought and time will make your porch experience all that you imagined.
One of the trademark designs incorporated into porches built by The Porch Company are the exaggerated eaves which are not only attractive, but serve as a buffer to keep rain off of the interior of the porch. Landscaping around a porch with deep eaves creates some unique opportunities that can create a much more pleasing and practical landscape solution. One of the most important considerations is to keep the plantings far enough away from the porch where they can receive rainfall directly from overhead. Rarely will plants perform well if placed under the eaves.
One atypical design feature that I especially love (being a plant person) is not having downspouts on our porch. In place of the typical downspout, we use water chains which direct the water down the chain and in to the ground or a decorative container. This is not only an elegant solution for handling the water, but gives me the opportunity to create a rain garden around the base of the container intensely planted with plants that love this extra water!
Deciding on which plants to use around your porch can vary greatly depending on where you live and the amount of sun or shade the area receives. One very important consideration is what the landscaping will look like from inside your porch. You may need to hide an eyesore or direct your view to a blooming tree or a part of your garden framed between posts. Evergreens (plants that stay green year round) may be your cup of tea, while others like myself prefer to use deciduous plants (plants that drop their leaves in winter). Deciduous plants have many more options available (especially in middle Tennessee) for flowers and fragrance. Speaking of flowers and fragrance, this is one of my favorite things to consider when choosing plants! There is nothing quite like being on the porch with the sweet scent of flowers wafting in. The plants don’t have to be planted directly in front of your porch to get this benefit, as long as they are planted where the prevailing winds will bring the fragrance to your porch.
From the practical side of things keeping the plantings away from your porch makes the maintenance much easier. As in our case (see photo above) I have made a mulched path or passageway behind the plantings that can’t be seen from the front.