Porch pots are an old fashioned way to decorate a deck, porch, or other entrance to greet people with something colorful during the fall and winter season. Burning bush, dogwood, viburnums, hydrangea flowers, and other fall colored branches are available for the taking along road sides or your property.
Foraging in the Wild
Burning bush has escaped to the wild as an invasive and you can spot it a mile away on the side of the road with its flaming branches. Spicebush, Lindera benzoin, a native, shines with a yellow light through the woods and Bittersweet, another invasive, tangles through trees.
Rose hips, wild Hawthorne, Jack in the Pulpit berries, Sourwood tree foliage, and Kousa Dogwood foliage and berries- the list is endless. Just walk down your neighborhood streets with pruners and start trimming off some branches. Be sure to be careful where you trim. If it is a neighbor’s property, ask permission first.
Jack in the Pulpit berries
Christmas Porch Pots
Porch pots are an easy inexpensive way to dress up your entrance and they are especially valuable for Christmas entertaining. For my recent article on Christmas porch pots in The American Gardener, go to;
But in the mid-Atlantic, our fall has been such a long Indian summer, the fall foliage is waiting for me to pick and use it.
Be careful as your forage for fall materials. Poison Ivy also turns a beautiful color!! When stopping on the side on the road, pull off far enough that you don’t stop traffic. I always wear gloves, long pants, and good sturdy shoes.
Top 10 Materials for Fall Arrangements (Mid-Atlantic Region)
1 Viburnum foliage and berries-the berries come in red, yellow, pink, and blue
2 Blueberry-flaming red foliage
3 Dogwood-foliage and berries
4 Maple-Japanese Maples and Sugar Maples have awesome colors in the fall
5 Oakleaf Hydrangeas-turning a burgundy color, these are long lasting for foliage or flowers
6 Sassafras-brilliant orange and red foliage
7 Nandina-berries and foliage
8 Fothergillia-beautiful burgundy and oranges
9 Grass Plumes-adds great texture
10 Burning Bush-flame red colored foliage with berries
Starting with a pot of soil left over from your dead annuals, simply insert the cut branches into the soil which will hold everything in place. Soil is better for these large pots rather than floral oasis as it holds up better and the large branches stay firmly in the soil.
For the western part of the US, quaking aspens, Salal, and Eucalyptus are valuable additions to your tool box of foliage.