Fall Florals

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With a small get-together coming up, I have been determined to make our porch a bit more welcoming with seasonal plants. Since the beginning of summer, I have hunted and hunted for outdoor pots or urns, but everything I found was ugly or pricey, and I needed TWO of them! Luckily, I came across a small nursery, The Greenery, in Hilton Head last week with hundreds of pots! Some were a bit more steep than others, but we fell upon two french gray marbled pots that were at the right price of $50 a piece, and I snatched them up.

Once we got back to Ohio, I was on a mission to find the perfect plants, which mind you took much longer than I thought! I started by driving about five minutes to Lowe's where I found some great mums, but honestly there was nothing else there, so I headed down the street to Home Depot (side note: why are the two stores ALWAYS less than a mile away from one another?) and again they came up short. So with serious frustrations, I headed out about twenty minutes to Natorp's where thankfully I was extremely successful! I don't know much about plants, but with a little help from the experts at Natorp's and my husband I know have beautiful finished pots on my front porch. I am still no where near being an expert, but I did learn a few things in the process. 

Basic Steps 

  1. Purchase all your plants and have them ready to go. Make sure not to water them until after you have them potted!

  2. Instead of filling the pot with a huge amount of potting soil. Place a smaller plastic pot or something relatively sturdy upside down that is the appropriate height. 

  3. Place a second pot inside your decorative pot. This one happens to be teal which you can see a bit in the photos, but honestly once the plants start growing you will never know! 

  4. Fill the pot with enough dirt to get your plants to the edge of the container. Then the fun part begins. Start playing with the location of the plants keeping in mind that you need to leave room for the plants to grow, so don't fill it too much! 

  5. Fill all the empty space with dirt and water your plants! 

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Tips & Tricks 

  • As I mentioned before, I don't really know plants, so my first plan of attack is usually to find a few images of what I am going for. It helps if you can find some images of seasonal plants, but not always necessary. I always show the expert at the nursery. This time around all the plants I really liked were going to die in the frost!
  • I know it is very tempting to fall in love with all the flowers in the nursery, but remember where you plan on putting them and what your intent is. If you want your plants to last until Thanksgiving make sure to find ones that are hardy and can take the cool nights and mornings! 
  • Again, don't forget to mix texture, color and height. I wanted to play with deeper purples and more of a neutral palette. The plants I decided to go with that went with my overall look and could take the frost are the following from back to front. 
    • Ornamental Millet - Purple Majesty
    • Toffee Twist
    • Flowering Kale - Peacock Red
    • Dusty Miller 
    • Bugleweed Mahogany & Black Scallop
    • Pansy Mix 
  • I actually got a bit carried away, and couldn't use near as many plants as I thought I would in each of the pots. However, I just created smaller vignettes in pots that I already had and placed them on our back porch shifting the mood from a summer to fall! 

While out running errands, I also came across Hazelfield Farms at the Hyde Park Farmer's Market, and fell in love with all the beautiful textures and colors of autumn. I figured since I was having a get together, I might as well bring the flowers inside as well. After talking with Teresa, I learned that the flowers would last at least a week, and if I treated them just right that I could dry them and have them for a bit longer if I cut them after a week and no longer gave them water. At the market, Teresa makes individual bouquets, so I gave her a little direction mentioning that I wanted height, volume and an assortment of colors. It didn't take her long to whip this beautiful bouquet up, and now it greets you at the door when you come in! 

Overall, it is starting to feel like fall around here! I can't say that I plan on being an expert or green thumb, but I thoroughly enjoy playing with all the amazing options out there! Do you do anything specific for your porch/entry in the fall, or do you wait until Christmas and then go all out? Either way, I hope you are enjoying all the new colors around you! 

Happy Planting! 

-a.