Raise Your Sights

Raise Your Sights

Pot-lined stair steps make a beautiful entryway. 
Whenever my wife Karen and I travel to a city for the first time we always make a point of walking around established neighborhoods to try and spot new and different gardening trends we can photograph and write about on the Costa Farms website. It’s super fun, and we always get a lot of terrific ideas that we love to share with you. One of our most successful trips was when we visited Charleston, South Carolina two years ago. Check it out here.

Since then we’ve visited parts of Georgia, Maine, Iowa, California, Oregon, Minnesota, South Carolina, Mississippi, New York, and the entire state of Florida. Interestingly, one of the trends we’ve been seeing everywhere is people container gardening on their front steps. Take this front stairway in Minneapolis, for example. What would otherwise be a drab concrete stairway became a stunning entry with the simple addition of a trio of tall terra-cotta pots packed with gorgeous white coneflowers. The coneflowers were especially surprising since you don’t often see perennials used alone to make a bold statement. The polished river rocks were a nice touch, too!

When we strolled through the historic city of Savannah, Georgia, we came across this unforgettable stairway flanked with pots of ti plant, bougainvillea, bush daisy, pansy, elephant ear, impatiens, and ornamental sweet potato. Most of the plants are growing in terra-cotta pots that are heavy enough to stay put if the weather gets stormy. Of course, if you have an elderly or disabled person in your family, this stairway garden might make navigating the steps difficult, but otherwise, the stair-stepped design provides a rainbow of bloom through the spring and summer.

In Aiken, South Carolina we found a front entry lit up with the jewel-toned flowers and foliage of caladium, impatiens, begonia, and heuchera. A pair of huge live oaks in front of the home keeps the stairway shaded year round yet this palette of reliable shade dwellers never dulls.

If you live in an urban area, this may be your only gardening space, but even in the suburbs where you have more room, staging plants on your front entry is a colorful way to say welcome.

Written by Doug Jimerson