For gorgeous containers, use the Thriller/Spiller/Filler method. Choose a taller plant as your thriller, a filler to add around the base and a trailing plant to spill or cascade down the sides. More container garden tips @ themicrogardener.
Better fern for front porch than Boston fern: Kimberly Queen Ferns Southern Soul Mates: trying these instead of Boston ferns this year. To be more tolerant of the heat and dry weather. Less leggy and more upright too. Two on the front porch.