How to refresh your front porch and garden for spring

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Add a little curb appeal with a spring refresh to your front porch and garden.

Front gardens and porches are the first thing that visitors see when they approach a home.

I must admit we hadn’t put too much effort into elevating that experience for passersby. It has been on our must-do list for home renovations but had put it off, planning to eventually tackle it. Our plans included big ticket renovations such as a new porch, stone walkway and a retaining wall. But when an urban critter, likely a neighbourhood skunk, turned our front lawn into a slug buffet and left the lawn looking like we had started an excavation, we knew we had to do something.

But little updates can make a difference. Refreshing the front garden or porch doesn't have to be so overwhelming.

I’ve partnered with Schlage Canada to create an inspiration board, and share some tips on how to tackle your garden and refresh your front porch in a way that that will easily transition from spring to summer.

So, here are 12 ideas on how to refresh your front porch and garden…

Gather inspiration

First, walk through your neighbourhood and snap photos of what appeals to you. Maybe it’s the colour palette, plant species, front door colour or maybe it’s just the mood. Whatever it is, gather those inspiring bits and put them together in some sort of visual format to help paint a better picture.

Choose a palette that works well with your exterior

Whether you're tackling a bigger garden refresh or just filling pots, planters and window boxes, keep in mind the palette and architecture of your home's exterior when choosing plantings and any decorative accessories like urns or pots.  Some garden experts I spoke to said to try to stick to three or four colours when choosing plants.

Start with your porch or doorway

Depending on the size of outdoor space, spring gardening may just include adding a pot of blooms near your front door but why not try to sneak in a grouping of pretty pots spilling over with flowers or greenery. It doesn't take up a lot of space and makes a bigger impact. If you live in the city you might not have much of a front yard or maybe you only have a small terrace. Create the feeling of a garden by grouping a bunch of pots of various sizes together and fill with fragrant herbs or blooms.

Make a statement

Urns or larger pots flanking a doorway or front steps are a great way to make an impact. You can do cheater urns by purchasing ready-made baskets of various sizes that you can pop right into your urn or pot. I sometimes do this with ferns! I buy baskets of hanging ferns and snip off those plastic hangers and voila! instantly pretty.

and remember this - thriller, filler, spiller! 

If you want to diy your urns, a great phrase to remember when choosing plants is thriller, filler, and spiller. First, you want to pick something that adds thrill, drama or a focal point with height in the centre of the urn or pot, that's the thriller.  Then add plants around the thriller that will fill in and add surround and enhance the thriller. Finally, the spillers which spill or trial over the sides of the container add more colour, texture and interest around the edges of the pot.

Add scent

Include fragrant flowers and herbs in your planting, especially the spots where people walk past. Is there anything better than picking up a waft of fresh lavender, mint or thyme as you walk through the front door or past someone's home?

Hanging baskets add colour and soften exteriors

Don't let a lack of floor space for things like big urns stop you, use vertical space to add hanging planters or windowboxes. They add a pop of colour against exterior brick and siding. I love the look of a green and white palette against dark siding.

Keep things simple

Some people like to switch up their urns or window boxes throughout the spring, summer and fall - and that’s fine but if you don’t want to spend the time or money choose plants that will last or continually bloom with just a little deadheading.  Ferns are a great low maintenance choice for larger urns or pots that sit on a porch and they’ll last well into autumn.

Refresh with new decorative pieces

Just like you might swap in a new throw pillow or area rug indoors with a change in seasons, a new doormat, light fixture or mailbox can also freshen up a front entry.


Update your exterior door hardware and locks.

Don't forget about your front door. New hardware can instantly update a door and the new smart lock systems on the market can make getting in and out of the house easy and keyless! With the Schlage Home app you can use Google Assistant to control Schlage smart locks – like the Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt using the Schlage Sense™ Wi-Fi Adapter.

and ... when you are going in an out of the house it's so handy to not have to worry about keys, right?

This is also the time of year to give your front door a fresh coat of paint. I'm tempted to add a little colour to my door this year.

Don't forget a place to sit

If you have the space, include a chair or bench. It adds a welcoming touch to your front door area and a spot to sit and enjoy a summer drink.

Garden planning tips:

Whether you intend to plan your garden or your approach is more casual you will need to know a few things including:

sun exposure – is the space shady or is there sun all day?

soil condition – you can buy a testing kit to see how healthy your soil is.

measurements – it doesn’t have to be precise but having a general idea of the size of the garden will obviously help when you are purchasing plants.

maintenance – how much time do you want to invest in things like watering? If you don't want dedicate too much time to the garden, choose plants that don't require a lot of maintenance.

Besides obsessively watching Monty Don on Netflix, I found lots of great garden inspiration and planning advice online. Pinterest is always a go to for ideas. You can see my Pinterest board with inspiration about front door, porch and garden inspiration here. I also found some helpful garden plans that you can download from Better Homes and Gardens.

Have fun and experiment!

I love how Shannon over at Euclid Farms is experimenting with flower seeds. You can follow her on Instagram and see how her summer experiment scattering seeds in urban spots that need a little gardening love.

West Coast Seeds is a Canadian company that you can order seeds, bulbs etc online.

So, what did we do? 

Well it’s a work in progress. We finished the digging the skunk had started for us by marking out and removing the remaining grass to create large a garden bed. We have done some planting (it looks ten times better) but I’m still researching and shopping for plants to fill the new garden bed. Later in the summer we might get to stage one of the hard-scaping which is the retaining wall. I’m no expert when it comes to gardening, but you don’t have to be. With a little research and by taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge at your local garden centre you can get started. All the experts remind me that a garden isn’t created over a long weekend, it’s a process. Take the time to learn and experiment a little to find out what works for you and your garden.  I'll be sure to share some photos of our garden process on Instagram.

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Schlage Canada in this sponsored post. All opinions and text are my own.


  1. Beautiful! Love this inspiration board.

    1. Thank you! I'm having fun spending time planning my garden.


Thanks so much for your comments!