The porch of your home should be as inviting as your living room and let guests know they are welcome to sit and relax for a while. You can achieve this affect with a few landscaping ideas for porches that are sure to add color, soften lines, and bring interest to your front or back porch. Depending on your property you can work solely in containers, in the ground, or with a combination of the two.
Make a light overhead sketch of your porch and the yard area surrounding it. Decide whether you want to create a symmetrical look, planting even amounts of the same plants with the same layout on either side of your porch or walkway, or make an asymmetrical look around your porch area where different plantings can occur along the front and either side. Use this decision as you plan and purchase your plants.
Select and plant evergreen and/or flowering shrubs along the back of your flower bed or against the house. Plants like the boxwood, butterfly bush, and azalea can fill in virtually any space, smooth corners and edges, hide an unsightly foundation, and add depth to the area around the porch.
Include fragrant flowering plants, shrubs, and vines in your landscaping around your porch. The added color and scents of plants such as wisteria, lilac, jasmine, honeysuckle, and mock orange can all enhance the experience of relaxing on the porch or being greeted into your home.
Place shorter perennial flowers and herbs in front of your tall shrubs to create a border or edge to separate the lawn from the porch area. Phlox, lavender, and evening primrose are all relatively short plants which will come back each year and bloom without much care.
Use annuals in pots on your steps, corners of the porch, or along the edge of the porch to add color to your plantings. Marigolds, pansies and snapdragons can supply a variety of colors to your porch all season long.
Hang flower pots with dramatic looking ferns or petunias from the ceiling or overhang of your porch to draw the eye up from the ground. Any long trailing plant will do so long as it doesn't hang down so far that your view is obstructed.
Add furniture to your porch, along the walkway or planting bed to give comfortable seating in chairs, loungers and benches that pair nicely with small side tables. If your outdoor furniture doesn't match in style, consider purchasing new cushions that are identical and use fabric patterns that tie in with your flower color choices.
Set accent items such as birdbaths, birdhouses, sundials, statuary, or unique garden art in the garden bed or on the porch itself. Don't overcrowd the area or the porch will lose the relaxed look, but do tuck objects in so they blend with the flowers and furniture rather than stand out.