Annuals · Container Gardening · Garden Design · Garden Musings · Houseplants · Tropicals

Front Porch Tropical Paradise

I love purple. I typically can’t get enough purple flowers, purple foliage, and purple pots. I had every intention of welcoming guests to our home this summer with a front porch packed with purple. And then it happened.

Our order of tropical plants arrived at work. While unwrapping mandevillas winding their way up trellises and hibiscus trees with braided trunks, a croton on a standard caught my eye. Actually, it captured my heart.

I had to have those large, shiny, dark green leaves edged and veined in yellow, pink and red. But what would I do with this beauty on a stick? And just that fast, my plans for a front porch packed with purple turned to a vision of a front porch tropical paradise.

As you can guess, the first step on my trip to the tropics was planting the pot with the croton on a standard. Ferns and impatiens snuggled at its base.

On the other side of the door, another croton joined a palm, Fuchsia ‘Gartenmeister’, a fern, and coral-colored impatiens.

More impatiens filled my vintage wooden crate.

A simple pot with another croton and creeping Jenny completed the tropical trio of planters beside the front door.

Two pots were planted with dragonwing begonias – one with coral pink flowers and green leaves and another with red flowers and dark bronze-red foliage.

More pots of tropical tapestries were planted with a banana, caladium, coleus, ferns, Hibiscus ‘Little Zin’ and impatiens. Chartreuse creeping Jenny spills over the edges of most of the pots.

With all the pots planted, my attention turned to the antique plant stand I bought at a flea market several years ago. In a month or so, the ferns will completely ensconce the plant stand to become a solid wall of ferns – very tropical, right?

Next the window boxes were planted with a tropical theme, too. Caladium, red-flowering dragonwing begonias, ferns, and Fuchsia ‘Firecracker’ line both boxes.

A wire trough hangs on a railing across the front of the porch. This was planted with Fuchsia ‘Gartenmeister’, ferns and Mecardonia ‘Little Sunshine’.

A small area in the garden along the sidewalk gets quite a bit more sun than the pots on the front porch, so it was planted with Geranium ‘Vancouver’, Zinnia ‘Profusion Yellow’, and more coral impatiens. Normally, impatiens wouldn’t be planted alongside sun lovers, but I am hoping its taller neighboring plants will shade them enough for them to thrive. Time will tell.

My ficus moved outside to join the party. The finishing touches of my tropical paradise included a small pot of coral impatiens for the wicker side table, pillows for the loveseat and chair, a hanging basket overflowing with dragonwing begonias, and a wire basket of faux tropical foliage and flowers for the front door.

I can’t wait to relax at the end of a long day in my tropical paradise. Neighbors walking by are invited to join me. We’ll enjoy cool drinks in purple tumblers. Garden with me!

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