You know I like to bring the outside inside with my interior design.

Similarly, in the summer, I like my porch decor and plantings to flow naturally from my interior spaces.

That means blue and white striped cushions and throw pillows on my porch furniture.

And, of course, a blue and white color palette for my container plantings!

Today I am sharing 16 easy-care blue and white annuals I used this year in the pots on my back deck and front steps.

Maybe you are still working on your summer plantings.

Or you might be doing a little refresh on annuals that are already tired from the heat.

Many of these plants also make a lovely transition to fall when paired with rose colored grasses, ornamental cabbages and golden-hued blooms.

Whichever it might be, I have you covered!

My Pot Plantings

I have a collection of blue and white pots on the back deck and stone-colored ones on the front steps that I fill with plants during the summer and into the fall.

As with my interior decor, for my potted plants I lean towards a casual cottage mix-and-match style. (Heavy on the mix!)

Not necessarily adhering to to the “thriller, spiller, filler” method, but rather groupings of smaller pots filled with plants of differing heights, colors, and textures.

I like things to be natural-looking, not stylized.

On the back deck I used only blue and white plants, but kept things interesting by using both darker, lighter, and different hues of “blue”.

On the front steps I also mixed in a few plants with yellow flowers for a pop of bright color.

For more on using texture and color in your plantings, check out my post from last year: Fresh Color and Texture for Your Planters Heading Into Fall.

This year I was thick in my Homeworthy prep and feeling a little frazzled when I shopped for my summer annuals. I grabbed a bunch of different plants, keeping my blue and white color-scheme in mind, but not feeling great about how they would all come together.

But once I got them planted, and particularly now that things have started to fill in, I am loving the combinations!

Remember I am going for a natural mix-and-match look.

NOTE: I get direct sunlight on the back deck from sunrise until late morning/midday. The front steps get afternoon/evening sun.

Let’s get planting!

Blue Plants

There are few true blue plants in nature.

Most “blue” flowers are really purple.

If it says “blue” on the tag, though, I treat it as that, mixing all the different hues together.


There are both annual and perennial Salvia varieties. Mystic Spires is an annual, and the all-star of my garden and pots. It grows 24-30 inches tall and wide with deep purple-blue flower “spires” lasting from early summer until frost.


I am a huge fun of annual salvias in general. This was a new one for me this year. It is smaller than the Mystic Spires. I love the paler “blue” color.


Another favorite Salvia variety. This one has striking black stems. Like the others, it puts on a show from early summer to first frost!


How could I not choose this petunia for my Maine garden?! I love the deep purply-blue center with the creamy white edge!


A spreading plant with almost true-blue small blooms. No dead-heading necessary!


A foliage-only plant, with large heart-shaped leaves. It is a great dark accent to the lighter blues and whites.


A new one for me this year. It has large multi-headed fragrant blooms. So far so good!


I adore Bachelor’s Buttons, because these are one of the few almost true-blue flowers. This is the first time I have ever tried them in a pot. (I tried planting some in the wildflower meadow with not much success…) Some of them just bloomed and I am in love!


Dark blue mounding plant. Dead-heading not necessary!

White Plants

The white plants really make the blue ones pop and always look fresh with the green foliage.


A classic! Ball seeds describes it: “The ultimate geranium for garden beds, with big, bright flowers and crisp, medium green leaves. They do well in large containers, too!”


With regular deadheading, this will bloom all summer long. Great for hanging pots. (I have it in some wall pocket planters.)


A “tender” perennial, which is an annual here in Maine. Profuse bloomer throughout the season. Low maintenance filler or ground cover.


Hundreds of white blooms cover these trailing plants all summer long.


Petunias are another classic that I always include in my pots. These don’t require deadheading to encourage more of the large funnel-shaped blooms, but I still like to remove the spent flower heads to keep things tidy!


Snapdragons are a classic cottage garden flower. This is the first time I have tried them in my garden and pots. They were teeny when I bought them, but growing steadily and have some flower buds.


This is the first time I have planted these zinnias, but they are coming in well. This is the only Zinnia with a large white daisy-like flower with proven disease resistance. They are supposed to flower summer into the fall with no pinching or pruning needed.

This Week Into Next

Happy guests

I had friends — former coworkers — visiting for the July 4th holiday.

We had beautiful weather on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Then woke to fog Friday for their departure.

It is always great to have old friends visit! We shared some home-cooked meals and toasted our friendship with prosecco, and, one evening fancy cocktails overlooking the harbor in Camden.

There was relaxing deck time and also a fun outing to the shops in town.

We explored the local cemetery, with headstones dating back to the 1800’s, many honoring those “lost at sea” or “drowned”. I love to try to imagine what this peninsula was like way back then.

They didn’t have the usual fireworks in our little village on the 4th, but we were able to catch some from the back porch!

All-in-all a fantastic visit!

Now I have a week off and then more friends arrive. I love summer!


Most of you are probably aware that my Homeworthy episode came out last Sunday.

You can watch it HERE!

Thank you to all of you who have reached out with kind words! I appreciate them all so much.

I am of course grateful for this amazing opportunity and honored to have been featured.

But I was surprised that it has left me feeling somewhat exposed and rather vulnerable. And even quite drained.

I was fully aware that Homeworthy videos are viewed on YouTube, a platform that I have chosen not to involve myself with.

However, I hadn’t thought at all about the YouTube comments section… I have really only skimmed the over 200 comments on my episode. And the very large majority of them are amazingly kind.

But of course there are those that are decidedly not. And while I don’t really care that someone I don’t know had to stop watching because I said “um” so many times. Or that another stranger had to mute the audio because I apparently smack my lips.

It still stings, though. Especially for this introvert.

And then there are those who criticized my design sensibility. That smarts even more.

One of them had the audacity to call my beloved collections “nautical tchotchkes”. Someone else complained about all of my stripes. What? I received a mini-lecture on what a true New England home looks like, and it apparently only contains things that are used. No decorations.

I certainly don’t expect everyone to love my home. (Especially when they are a professed minimalist…) But you can still appreciate a home that is different than what you would choose for your own. And I feel that there is a big difference between what the haters always seem to call “clutter”, and the carefully curated items that I have filled my home with and which bring me joy.

And then to add insult to injury (or maybe more accurately injury to insult…) was the poor quality of the video itself. The local videographer they contracted had never done anything like this before, and unfortunately it showed. One of my favorite things about this home is how all the large windows make it feel so light and open. In many shots, though, it looks like I live in a cave. Believe me, it was not that dark in the house when he was filming.

I have watched the tour once, and I am proud that I did something that was scary for me. I am happy now, however, to hunker down for a bit, back in my comfort zone behind the camera and keyboard.

Thank you again to those of you who reached out with kindness and support.

On to the next adventure!

Well, maybe I will wait a while…

That’s it for this week! Zoë is on a trip to Newfoundland, so there is no In Zoe’s Kitchen newsletter.

I so appreciate that you chose to join me here this week!


Highlighting coastal decor and lifestyle, Maddie and Cisco, and the way life should be...