Fall planting, the thrifty way

When I buy plants for the containers on our front and back porches each spring, I try to purchase ones that can eventually be transplanted somewhere else on our property. This helps me stretch my landscaping buck because I get to enjoy one plant in two places! It also helps me slowly, but surely, build up the greenery in our yard.

I potted a few arborvitaes last spring to create some height in my knockoff Tuscan-style planters and DIY copper pot. These shrubs were very affordable at $9.99 apiece at Walmart.



My plan all along was to enjoy them potted throughout the spring and summer, then to transplant them below our retaining wall in the fall, where they could have a permanent home.

Today I tackled that project and made some other changes for the fall season that I wanted to show you. Yard work is hard work, especially when it is still H.O.T. But I needed the exercise after all the ice cream eating that has been going on around here.

Ice cream lover

After yanking the arborvitaes out of their pots, I filled the pots with a few inexpensive, festive fall items.

I paid $9.99 for this whole ensemble:


In the rear are orange chrysanthemums, which I am excited to see in full bloom. I love the little pepper plant, too. Does anyone know what the bright green, leafy plant is?

I’m not sure if this pot will make it past first frost, but we’ll see. I also brought out my harvest wreath for the front door. Fall is in the air!


On the back porch, I potted two large mums. I think I paid $5 apiece for them.


Please ignore the fading porch posts. I just power-washed them in preparation for a makeover, which is coming soon. 😉

Of course, the arborvitaes made it to their permanent home.



This area of our property could use a lot of landscaping TLC. But I figure I’ll try to take baby steps and make a few improvements each year based on what we can afford and tackle ourselves.

Have you done any fall planting yet? Also, do you know of any colorful flowers or plants that thrive in shade?

I took a walk at my parents camp in the woods yesterday and saw some beautiful ferns growing naturally. I may have to steal a few of those. 🙂

I’m linking this up to Mrs. Hines Class.

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9 Responses

  1. Margaret Varner says:

    Love, Love, Love it!!! I had those pepper plants last year and they were gorgeous..I love the moms on the back porch too..you got me thinking fall..why why why? where did the summer go? Just kidding (a little :)). I was looking outside the other day and was thinking of fall and how beautiful it all gets..Your house looks great and I like the faded posts..adds character

    • Susan says:

      Thanks, Marg. I really do get a little sad when summer comes to an end. But fortunately, around here fall is so beautiful it gives me something to look forward to.

  2. Tammy says:

    Our property is highly shaded and I have spent years trying to find plants that are happy here. I have finally found them! Coleus and Potato Vine. They come in such a great variety of colors and don’t require any dead-heading (so super easy and virtually maintenance free). Plus they are forgiving. When they get dry and thirsty, they will begin to droop. Once you water them, they perk right back up again. Not to mention that they are easy to find, CHEAP and they really fill out to cover a lot of space. Good luck!

  3. teresa says:

    I suppose these are obvious, but I still love them: begonia, impatiens and hosta. Fuschia also make an outstanding hanging basket. Btw, you can try planting your mums out after they pass or water them over the winter and plant in spring. I keep mine for years that way. Same for the impatiens.

  4. Patty says:

    Ilove the way you put the peppers in with other plants. There are so many beautiful shade perennials. There are Astilbe’s in just about every shade but blue, Toad Lily’s and now they have different colors like Raspberry Mousse and Trillium (good for naturalizing) and of course different kinds of ferns, like Ostrich it gets 2-3 ft tall and is bright green, the Japanese fern is silvery and lady in red fern. There are so many different kinds of ferns. Then there is Jack-in-the-pulpit,creeping wintergreen has red berry’s, shooting stars, Dutchman Breeches and Bloodroot. These are just a few, there are so many. The Creeping Wintergreen is evergreen and the leaves turn a real pretty burgundy in the fall and the leaves smell like wintergreen, these would be great on your slope. Hope this helps.


  5. Donna Gibson says:

    The green plant has leaves similar to a standard pepper plant, yet I’m thinking it is a standard houseplant or a shade plant of some kind if you didn’t purchase it from a greenhouse. You can always ask your florist too. Hostas are a great choice and there are plenty of varieties that look great. They love sun, but also do ok in the shade too. Impatiens for now are NOT a good one to try. They will die because of a virus that attacks the plant varieties through the soil. I drive a local Mennonite family who own a greenhouse and learned that tid-bit. However, for a few years, I transplanted cuttings of my own impatiens to a flower pot just outside my door that hasn’t come in contact with outside soil with this virus, and have a pink and white impatiens. All my impatiens I planted in the spring have died within a month of planting, so don’t waste your money until this virus is conquered. Visit a local greenhouse and walk through areas that are shaded. It gives you plenty of choices for outside shade plants. Chrysanthemums, which I call C-mums, don’t always survive the winter. Most we see are not hardy, and chances are if you got yours at Walmart or a grocery store, it will not come back, but will be dead as a door nail by the time the snow is flying! A red or peach colored geranium is a great flowering potted plant that looks great with a spike plant. I dig mine all up and move indoors or just move the pot itself indoors for the winter! They will keep all winter if they are protected from the cold and you can put outside again in the fall. You can also take cuttings from the geranium and grow more plants, if you know how to do this! I use to work in a greenhouse years ago, so I know these things. Happy growing! My 2-year fruit orchard is coming along. Hope to have peaches and apples in a few short years! I love my garden too! Black-eyed Susans can be started with saving the tops with seeds from someone who has them. They are in bloom now and people are willing to give you heads to plant in the soil. You’ll love the colors! Zinnias attract butterflies. You can plant in bunches or in pots too! They will get 2 to 4′ high, but are wonderful for the butterflies like the monarchs and swallowtails, another hobby of mine! Love your place!

  6. Patricia Kaiser Hastings says:

    I just made some pillows for my front porch bench and out a pot of orange& yellow marigolds out front! I just love the colors!!

    I love Fall! Still too warm here is SC but hopefully will be cooling down soon!

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