Front Porch Fabulous
This month the Community Arts Center has opened their Designer Show House in Swarthmore, PA. The Scott Arboretum, along with 18 other designers, were invited to transform spaces throughout the house to inspire visitors. Our horticulturist, Josh Coceano, used tropicals and cool season annuals to brighten a shaded front porch.
You do not need a sun-soaked entrance to add colorful plants to your portico. Using plants ranging from Philodendron to Oxalis, Josh created a tropical retreat.
Our favorite container features Philodendron bipinnatifidum, tree philodendron, as the dramatic feature plant. While most people think of a vine when they hear philodendron, the tree philodendron has enormous, glossy leaves on single erect unbranched stems. The leaves are deeply dissected into dramatic wavy-margined lobes pm long petioles. This stand-out creates delightful texture and interest on your porch.
Adding pops of color under the powerful green presence of the tree philodendron is Oxalis regnellii ‘Triangularis’ and Peperomia silver leaf form. ‘Trianglularis’ is a clump-forming oxalis with dee, velvety purple leaves edged with a wide black border. This purple shamrock will make all your summer days lucky.
Peperomia silver leaf form is another common houseplant that does well in outdoor containers with low to medium light conditions. The silver leaf form has a tear-drop shaped silver leaf with contrasting green veination.
To complete this colorful combination, Tradescania x zebrina and Pilea glauca ‘Aquamarine’ spill over the container sides. Tradescania x zebrine, also known as wandering Jew, has a trailing stem with fleshy leaves. The dramatic purple underside of the silver striped leaf creates a flashes of color when blowing in gentle breeze.
Pilea glauca ‘Aquamarine’ is a charming succulent with petite, round, silver-blue leaves. The cascading pink stems accent the silver foliage well.
Stop by the Designer Show House until June 1 to garner ideas for your front porch, bedroom, or kitchen. To create your own colorful, tropical porch escape, stop by the Unusual Tropicals and Annuals Sale on Saturday, May 17.