Last year, I put some plants out there, but there were a couple problems: I didn't get enough for the size of the space; and also, turns out you have to water plants if you want them to last at all.
I'm ready for round two now. I went to Home Depot and got some flowers with labels that say they do well in the shade. I also got some boxes and mountings.
After about $100 and an hour of work the porch looks lovely. I realized when I got back from the store that I only got one mounting for the two boxes I bought, but now that I'm finished I like the multiple levels of color.
I think that all I need now is a small table to rest a couple glasses of iced tea.