Embrace Fall with These Small Space Garden Tips

Oct 12th 2023

Embrace Fall with These Small Space Garden Tips

Don’t have a ton of outdoor space? You can still enjoy the lush foliage and cozy feel of fall on a small porch, deck, or entryway. Think space-saving window boxesplanters, and railing planters that bring the beauty of the season to your doorstep. Here are a few autumn-inspired tips to get you started.

Think Outside of Orange and Brown

Orchard Bowl

When you hear “fall colors,” you might automatically think earthy tones like orange, brown, and yellow. But gone are the days of limiting your autumn porchscapes to a few dreary hues. Embrace fall in all its multi-faceted glory by incorporating non-traditional color schemes into your décor. Here are some color combinations to consider for your fall planters and window boxes:

Cream, light green, and sea-glass blue. This fresh color combo can take you through fall on into winter and still look seasonally fresh. Depending on where you live, you may try these plant mixes:

  • ‘Bowl of Cream’ peonies, hostas, and ‘Nikko blue’ hydrangeas.
  • ‘Pacific Cream Beauty’ calendulas, bells of Ireland, and ‘Baby Blue’ eucalyptus.

Purple/maroon and dark green. Dramatic and rich, this saturated color combo is eye-catching in any setting. Try:

  • ‘Violet’ ranunculus and black coleus.
  • ‘Purple Emperor’ sedum and dark-leaf dahlias

White, gray, and black. In this neutral plant mix, anything goes. Here are some plant recipes to play with:

  • White alyssum, artemisia, and ‘Black Pearl’ coral bells.
  • Tuberose, ‘Silver Gumdrop’ coral bells, and ‘Chocolate Shogun’ astilbe

Pro planting tip: Add a water reservoir to your window box or planter to keep plants hydrated (but not overwatered), conserve water, and lengthen the time between waterings.

Add Pumpkins and Other Seasonal Décor

What would fall décor be without pumpkins? Stack orange or white pumpkins, largest on bottom to smallest on top, on each side of your doorway. Place other gourds like acorn squash and butternut squash, around your mum-filled planters. Other items to include: corn cobs and husks, dried fall leaves, flameless lanterns, and cream-colored fairy lights to illuminate the way for guests and trick-or-treaters.

Not into traditional fall fare? Try a more fall farmhouse feel by placing a metal tub of fake apples on your porch. You can also plant a fall herb garden—window boxes are the perfect places for them! Rosemary, chives, cilantro, dill, and parsley are all excellent choices for the autumn planting season.

Pro decorating tip: If you want a zero-maintenance way to fill your planters for the fall, fill them with small pumpkins and gourds in your favorite fall color combinations. Or “plant” some of our lifelike artificial plants for a fall plant mix that looks great all season.

Take Fall Foliage Up with Hanging BasketsHanging Baskets

Create visual interest and dimension with your fall porch décor by taking it vertical. Hanging baskets are great for gardening when you don’t have a ton of floor space. And what better way to catch the eye than to put fall blossoms at eye level and above? Pops of color do this best—so why not try some yellow mums or variegated coleus in your favorite fall hues?

Here are some planting tips for the perfect fall hanging basket:

  • Choose a hanging basket that complements your house. For instance, if you have a more natural, cottage-y, or traditional home, our English Garden Hanging Basket might suit best. However, if your home is more modern in style, a contemporary Fiberglass Hanging Basket may look better.
  • Don’t overfill your hanging basket. Overcrowding plants means that they will compete for nutrients and water, and quickly outgrow the basket. Instead, a good rule of thumb is to place 5-7 plants in a 12-14” basket, and 7-9 in a 16-18” basket. And depending on the size of the basket, leave between ½” to 2” of space between the top of the soil and the lid of the basket.
  • Use the “thriller, filler, spiller” planting method. This is more of a suggestion than a hard-and-fast rule. But, generally speaking, a hanging basket looks full and lush with one of each type of plants: the thriller as the visual centerpiece, the filler to fill the basket as a nice background, and the spiller to tumbles out of the basket, creating visual interest and dimension.

Pro watering tip: Learn how to make any planter self-watering (yes, that includes hanging baskets!) with this free guide.

Create a Lush Autumn Entryway with Railing PlantersModern Farmhouse

Dress up your porch, fence, balcony, or deck with railing planters—great for fall décor or any time of the year! Immediately upgrade your curb appeal by mounting one or more deck rail planters. These flower boxes have so many pros: they’re easy to plant, water, and maintain (no back aches from bending over to water plants!). They also add color and depth—and did we mention privacy?— to your outdoor space.

Want an easy way to switch out your seasonal plantings? Try one of our wrought iron railing planters, like the European or Parisian styles. These allow you to quickly switch out plants by removing the planter liner, or pots, inside and replacing them with freshly planted ones.

Pro installation tip: Not sure which hardware you need to hang your new railing planter? We’ll take you through it step by step with our easy-to-follow Railing Brackets Buying Guide.

Everything You Need for Your Small Space Garden

Small spaces can still be stunning with the right garden accents. We have everything you need to transform your outdoor area—no matter how small—into a charming oasis for you and your guests. Find it all at