Porches and Plants

One of the main reasons that I moved into my apartment was because I wanted some outdoor space. The house that I moved into (almost 3 yrs ago!) has a great second story porch, but right now it is a sad and empty place. I thought that I would change that this summer and unfortunately life has given me some extra free time as me and my girlfriend have recently parted ways. It is time to take on my porch project.

Empty PorchVery sad and empty. Yes, I do use that chair.

I knew that this project would not happen overnight primarily because of my budget. I decided to start with items that were affordable and that would have the most impact which I determined were plants. I wanted to create a privacy wall by using flowers and plants. I purchased 3 ferns, two majesty palms, and 2 Yuccas. I also used existing plants which really helped to keep my cost down. It was so helpful to have my mom around for this project. She provided moral support, plant advice, and even donated a few extra planters.

Porch with plantsI was excited at this point. The plants helped me to be able to see my progress.

As you can see from the picture above that even with the plants in place there is still lots of empty space. Because the porch is so large I envisioned breaking it up into two separate sitting areas. In order to create these two distinct areas I used rugs. I really wanted two nice oriental outdoor rugs, but with a starting price of around $80 it would have been a big chunk of my budget. I found an indoor/outdoor rug at Home Depot for $19.99. I didn’t love it, but it had a pattern and it was 6ft. x 8ft., the dimensions that I needed. Once I laid down the rugs I could really see it all coming together.

Rug for Porch

The carpet/rugs helps to define the space of the pseudo room.

I put off purchasing furniture until the very end. I did this for two reasons. One, it is very expensive. Two, my fabulous co-worker had some wicker style furniture that she was willing to sell me for a great price. The catch was that I had to wait until she was sure she that she was moving. I waited and it was well worth it. The wicker furniture was the perfect choice. I added two plastic Adirondack chairs ($17 per chair) to fill in the other end of the porch. The porch is now ready to be fully enjoyed!

Wicker furniture

West End of Porch

I don’t think that my porch will ever truly be complete which is why I decided that I should write this post now. In fact, I have already added another hanging basket of flowers since I started writing this post. Overall, I have spent about $350 in total and the project has taken about 6 weeks. I have a few more ideas, such as adding cushions/pillows to the furniture as well as a few small tables and flowers. I am sure that I will be continuously tweaking the place all summer.


This has been a great project.  It has kept my mind occupied during a tough time. It has also helped me reconnect with myself and nature. There is something fulfilling about gardening, watering plants, and watching them grow. Plus, I now have a relaxing place with a tropical paradise feel to spend my evenings.

Bonus Pics

Plants Close-up Plants Close-up

Yucca DecoratedFlower Close-up

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Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

7 Comments on "Porches and Plants"

  1. Flo says:

    It looks terrific! Amazing what a few plants can do, isn’t it? Now it’s time to throw a party to show it off 🙂 (Sorry to hear about the girlfriend too)

  2. Sarah says:

    Your porch looks great! The woven mat and lovely wicker really tie it all together. You should consider a few pots of basil…so nice on tomatoes, and so easy to make pesto when it all grows at once. (Freeze in large-ish spoonfuls on a parchment covered cookie sheet, then cut up the parchment paper around the (frozen) pesto blobs, store in freezer in zip-locks, and “melt” over pasta or whatever, all winter long!)

  3. LIn says:

    Looks like a great place to read a book with an icy lemonade. I bet the neighbors are jealous!

  4. It looks AWESOME!!! I LOVE the look!!! Do you have space to store the furniture during the winter and good lighting for the plants inside. That’s the drawback for me to do something like this. I don’t have the space for the plants or storage space. But I really like what’s you’ve done with the porch. It’s so inviting! Hope you have lots of summer parties there, and spend many quiet summer days reading there. 🙂

  5. hardline_42 says:

    Good job with that porch! So sorry to hear about the break-up. As you can see though, freedom does have its perks. My wife happens to like a very austere, sanitized, people-don’t-actually-live-here idea of decorating and I prefer a more lived-in look: plants, patterns and restrained clutter. I would love to do exactly what you’ve done to my porches but time and money have always dedicated to more pressing issues. Glad to see you were able to create such an inviting space for such a small investment.

  6. oxford cloth button down says:

    Thanks for the kind words everyone. I do have winter storage for the furniture as well as room indoors for the plants. A few plants may go to the office in the off season, but I think that is a plus. I have not thought of adding herbs and veggies, but I do enjoy pesto!

  7. Amber says:

    Love, love, love the porch! Great job on it. And just think, in the winter you could decorate it with Christmas trees and lights!

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