Front Porch Throughout the Seasons and Why Ferns in Urns are the Way to Go

Throughout spring and summer, I have seen several people ask what flowers/plants they should put in front porch urns. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen some gorgeous multi-tiered displays that truly do make a front porch statement. Super wow-factor levels that would put some of the most meticulous Charleston window boxes to shame. If you have a green thumb, go for it. Go for the varieties, the trailers, the height… but if you don’t, keep it simple and go for easy longevity. For the majority of the year, I have one tried and true go-to and it hasn’t failed me yet. If you’re looking for simple, proven ideas, I’m sharing a look back of my front porch throughout the seasons and why ferns in urns are the way to go.

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This past week on my Insta-stories, I was sharing how I cut snippets of my fern fronds for easy greenery indoors and I suppose my healthy, green front porch twins stole the show 😉 I do NOT have a green thumb. That is one trait Mama Nan did not pass down. But, true to my southern roots, I have always opted for ferns in urns, flanking either side of my front door. Once it seems there’s little chance of a late frost, I purchase a pair in late March. I swear by Costco- they are always big, inexpensive, and quality (like most everything they carry – PS: we are Costco super-fans 😉 ). Our front porch fern spot primarily sees indirect sunlight and my urns are only lightweight fiberglass (and due for a paint job before year’s end). I have bricks stacked in the base to give the perfect height for literally unwrapping my fern from the plastic, plopping it (still in it’s container) in the urn, and snipping the plastic hanging part. I give them each a full pitcher every other morning. That’s it. They are super low maintenance, super hard to mess up, and make a super big statement. We actually end up rotating them out in the fall before they’ve expired. Long, rambling moral of the story- ferns on front porches are classic. You can’t go wrong. Flowers can be beautiful once they are sumptuous and if they survive but two urns situated to make a statement, only to have a few barely-hanging-in-there petunias is not the happiest way to enter your home.

huge front porch ferns in black urns on either side of door

The above picture is how they look, literally today. Below from a few weeks ago over the Fourth of July. Here’s a little look back at my front porch over this past year. Some of the changes are gradual and subtle, others a bit more elaborate, but one thing that doesn’t change are those urns. I love our front door so dressing her well (typically with a seasonal wreath) and framing her (like with the ferns in urns) is where I always start.

Fourth of July porch with ferns and flags

In her most recent glory, this is the look she sees most of the year. I have used the green hydrangea wreath I made for several years and seasons now and it’s still my warm weather fav. (You can see the simple DIY tutorial HERE). I don’t have to worry about the green clashing with nearby blooms, our American flag (it’s out the majority of summer). It just a good natural neutral.

*Catch my full summer home tour HERE*

Shades of Summer Home Tour with Neutrals and Naturals- craftsman style home with brick and stacked stone and ferns on either side of door

Spring is the most pared down of any season – and not all that different from summer. The front door saw a simple faux fern wreath (almost identical HERE) and this is when the ferns were brand new. No fresh growth and a little straggly. They’ve come a long way over the past few months 😉

*Catch my full spring home tour HERE*

spring porch with fern wreath

I’ve used “classic” a lot in this post to describe my angle for our front porch and it’s no different for Christmas. greenery, berries, red bows and simple white lights 😉 I have sees some gorgeous topiaries dressed for Christmas in urns flanking the front doors of others but my method is so simple, I don’t know that I foresee changing it any time soon. Lowe’s keeps a huge bin of Christmas tree clippings (I imagine others do, also), free for the taking. I lay down plastic and fill up the back of my car. Once I get home and stuff it in my urns, I use a few extra faux berry picks and branches. I even use a super cheap garland, wrapped around inside the base, just to fill any gaps and make it appear more full before putting the branches inside.

*Catch my full Christmas home tour HERE*

Another tried and true, the urns may get ferns during warm weather months but when fall hits, mums it is! Costco is our go-to for these, also. And, I use the same method. With bricks inside, I plop them in, still in the container and cut the hanging plastic part. These also thrive and get huge. The below is soon after I got them so  you can only see little maroon buds 😉

*Catch my full fall home tour HERE*

And for good measure, and because it was a totally different direction, I’m throwing in a shot from fall 2015, also. 😉

Do you have a go-to front porch move or are you always switching it up? Are you a big believer in ferns or do you want to be now? Let me know your style in the comment section below.


Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite things I ordered during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Also, starting tomorrow, the sale will officially be open to non-cardholders! If you haven’t already scoped everything out, you can see what I’ve purchased so far (along with other favs) HERE.

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22 Comments

  1. 7.20.17

    I went with ferns versus my usual potato vine this year and they are HUGE! So low maintenance, especially with all the rain (moisture) we’ve had.

    • 7.21.17

      Lauren, are you happy with your choice? I have potato vines on the back deck and those are doing pretty well this year, too 😉

  2. 7.20.17
    Betty Bakk said:

    Easy and beautiful – I so agree.
    Simplely beauriful – why mess with more?

  3. 7.20.17
    Gail said:

    My fern has some brown leaves underneath- do you just pull them off? Also the leaves are not standing upright in the middle of the plant ? They lay flatter? Any suggestions

    • 7.21.17

      Hi, Gail! I do. Sometimes, I’m lazy about it and count on new growth to cover them (haha) but I try when I think about it. And I’m not sure – is it a different type of fern? I know there are SO MANY varieties…

  4. 7.22.17
    Michele said:

    I always do violets and something tall in middle for spring and early summer – this year was chive…violets only like cool weather but chive still thriving.

    Just last night we bought two ferns to replace the violet but I haven’t taken out the chive yet b/c I liked it alone, too – but it kinda needs something else….was thinking ivy. May take the ferns to my back covered porch and do ivy – but normally this time of year it is ferns. : – )

    Your porches are gorgeous in every season.

    We decorate our front porch in SNOW during winter, haha.

    • 8.7.17

      Michele, I would love to see those- sounds beautiful! And thank you! Winter (post Christmas) is the saddest time for our front porch haha

  5. 7.22.17
    Brenda Botbyl-Velez said:

    I couldn’t agree more with you about the elegance of ferns in urns! I have 8 black urns all filled with ferns! I just LOVE the look! I tried something new with them this year that I read about on line. I submerge them in a bucket filled with water and Epsom salt. It makes them huge and healthy looking!

    • 8.7.17

      Brenda, 8?! WOW! Would LOVE to see those! I had someone share that tip with me too! Glad it keeps your beauties beautiful!

    • 3.24.21
      sheila said:

      Hey Brenda, Re: comment about putting ferns in bucket with water and epson salt, do you do this periodically and then hang them back up or is this something that you do all the time – leave them soaking in water and epsom salt? Thanks!

  6. 7.29.17
    Maureen said:

    Hi Kelly Nan, your porch is lovely! Love your door. Thanks for breaking down your designs by the season. I will be trying your Costco fern / mum ideas for my 10 year old fiberglass urns that were purchased from Costco and painted black. I hope the light will be right for them and the deer will leave them alone. You are so right about the geraniums fizzling out after a few weeks.

    • 8.7.17

      Maureen, thank you and you will have to let me know how it turns out! I love urns on the front porch 😉 xo

  7. 9.8.18
    rebecca said:

    Hi! I also have ferns flanking our 3 garage doors. They’re HUGE right now, but it’s nearly time for the colorful mums. Question: what do you do with the ferns when you swap them out for fall? Throw them away? I have no clue what to do with these beasts!

    • 9.11.18

      Hi, Rebecca! You can bring them indoors if you continue to care for them and they will keep going! Honestly, I am usually in such a state of disarray during that time of year, I move them to the porch and let the cold take control haha

      • 10.4.18
        Dawn said:

        Hi, am looking to plant something by my front door in my urns that lasts through ALL the seasons. I’m tired of planting and replanting. What should I do?

        • 10.9.18

          Dawn, I wish I had a suggestion! I would talk to your local nursery and see what can tolerate different elements, based on where you live. In Georgia, I planted my ferns in March and they are still thriving but I know they won’t last once the first frost comes…

  8. 9.30.20
    Kathy Nail said:

    I love these ferns. We live in Oklahoma and our winters can get pretty cold. I’ve been putting them in the garage…canI keep these out on my porch?

    • 10.4.20

      Hi Kathy, I love ferns too, but have not been successful in wintering them over. The temps here fall below freezing and once that happens, they are toast. You are lucky to be able to keep yours safe and warm in your garage. I switch to mums in the fall and winter greenery in the winter. xoxo

      • 4.14.21
        Lasharia Yarbrough said:

        Are they’re FULL AND HOW MUCH ARE THEY

        • 4.16.21

          Hi Lasharia, We get our ferns at Costco and they are always the absolute best! The are full, last throughout the summer and are reasonably priced.

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