The Fall Front “Porch” that Keeps on Giving for under $75: Fall Perennials

Fall front porch

Hey friends! I ran out bright and early Sunday morning to grab some pumpkins and mums for the front “porch”. While I entered the store feeling totally inspired on that beautiful fall day, I was instantly discouraged by how quickly things can add up. Please tell me, am I the only one who adds up the cost of those Cinderella pumpkins in people’s Instagram posts. 10 -20-30-$40, yeah, no thank you! I love for my home to look beautiful from the street, but for that price, I’d like to get a little more bang for my buck!

I challenged myself to create a fall front porch for under $100.

How to Make the Most of your Fall Florals
I’m not sure if many people know, but garden mums, are perennials,which when planted directly into your garden by early fall, they’ll return! My first step was to find some mums and other perennials that I can enjoy for years to come. We live in a colder climate, and I’ve had luck with my mums returning after planting them in later fall. One benefit of buying an older home, is that we inherited mature garden beds albeit, overgrown, but in general, a good foundation for my garden next spring.

Save Money
I started to buy this medium sized mum for $15, then came across some 1 quart mums for $1.98!!! When I bunched three of them together, the impact was pretty much the same, but for $9 less!

A Trick for Buying Mums:
Don’t buy mums in full bloom, unless you need them in bloom for that day.  Buy them with the buds closed and they will last longer.  If you’re concerned about the color of the blooms, check the tag.

This year, I’ve been inspired by pinks, and purples and burgundy and other jewel tones. My 2nd step was to find items that were perennials, which would allow me to plant in garden.  I grabbed some burgundy ornamental grasses, some purple cone flowers which were on clearance, 1 ornamental cabbage (with two heads, which could be split), and a bag of gourds and mini pumpkins.

Buy Plants That Can Be Split:

This is something I practice, regularly.  I’m always looking for plants that can be split.  Here you see the 2 heads of cabbage.  Once I removed them from the pot, I cleared away some of the soil around the roots, and carefully pulled them apart holding onto the base to ensure that each side still had roots to plant.

Texture through Gourds without the Specialty Pumpkin Price Tag
Again, the specialty pumpkins are gorgeous for their texture and often muted colors if you can afford them in your budget, but I’d rather spend $4 a piece for a few small pumpkins and a few bucks on a bag of mini gourds to tie in some texture.

Fall front porch

Oh I can’t even deal with how much I love our front door and it’s new hardware from Signature Hardware!

Fall front porch

Fall front porch

Fall front porch

Creating Planters Generally Goes by this Rule of Thumb:

Thriller, filler and spiller.  I generally go with what feels right when I put it together.  A mix of different heights, texture and color ususally works for me.  But, the ornamental grasses serve as a Thriller with their height.  The mums are full so they serve as a filler and a spiller.  I added the cabbage for texture, but the cone flowers also add interest with their shape and height.   On one of the planters, I had a few blank spots, so I tucked a few of the mini pumpkins to fill it in.

Fall front porch

Top it all off with a coordinating wreath!
Find a beautiful wreath that brings it all together.

fall entry

Fall front porch

Fall front porch

Fall front porch

So, do you want to know what my total came in at?

Let’s break it down:

Mums: 8@$1.98 each = $15.84

Coneflowers 3@$3.98 each = $11.94

Ornamental grass:  2 @$7.98 each =$15.96

Sugar Pumpkins:  3@$3.48 each =$10.44

Bag of mini pumpkins and gourds: $11.98

Ornamental Cabbage $4.98

Grand total of : $71.14

So what do you think?  How much do you typically spend on your seasonal curb appeal?

Fall front porch


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  1. Lisa @ Shine Your Light
    October 3, 2018 / 12:07 pm

    I love your beautiful front steps so much Carli! The lights, door hardware and that awesome awesome door itself are so beautiful! I'm in total agreement with you about spending millions of dollars on decorating for fall – you definitely got a lot of bang for your buck with color, texture and splitting up plants! It's gorgeous….enjoy.

  2. Paige
    October 3, 2022 / 4:20 pm

    Where did you find the wreath? It’s an eye-catcher for sure!

    • madebycarli
      October 4, 2022 / 7:00 pm

      Hi Paige, it was from TjMAxx they have some really great wreath options at reasonable prices.

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