Autumn Container Inspiration

This fall, I'm diving into tons of projects to help us feel more settled and put our stamp on our new home. One of the big things on my list is setting up planters to frame our front door and enhance our porch. Since I like to keep entry containers seasonal, I've put together a little autumn recipe for my new containers that can easily be adapted to suit almost any condition, whether sunny or shady, a window box or planter, etc. And as I know that mums can be bifurcating, you either love them or you can't stand them, it's mum-free!

My planters are in place and it's time to plant. Image courtesy Kat Cervoni.

Shopping List


  • Two boxwood shrubs: These evergreens can remain as a constant throughout all seasons.

  • Four purple matrix pansies: A larger flower that provides solid blossoms.

  • Six purple/yellow jonny jump-ups: A smaller flower that has two-tone blossoms.

  • Two creeping jenny plants: These perennials will remain as a constant in all seasons.

  • Four blue-toned ornamental cabbages: These can handle the frost.

  • Two purple ornamental mustards: These add gorgeous lacy foliage.

  • Two 2' x 2' x 2' Fiberstone cube planters: I like the matte gray.

  • One permeable landscape fabric role: This is for preventing soil loss.

  • Eight 2-cubic-foot bags of organic potting soil.

  • One bag of organic pine bark mulch: You won't need the whole thing.

Putting it All Together

Image by Kat Cervoni.

When you want to create a standout planter, the classic formula is filler + thriller + spiller. When I have the space, I like to take things a step further and include what I'm calling a centerpiece. Usually, it's some sort of evergreen, like a boxwood, which can ground your arrangement regardless of the season. An ornamental grass, such as miscanthus, can also make for a great anchor.

My son, Colt, gives a final inspection of our new entry planters. I think he likes them.
The finished planters. Image courtesy Kat Cervoni.

Since these are in the shade and also aren't getting any rain water, I'm hand-watering them twice a week. This will keep things perky until we start getting overnight frosts starts.