*Boxwood 'Dee Runk' is reportedly the nicest of the columnar boxwoods tolerating shade and clay soils. Total height of 8-10 ft tall can be sheared shorter. Max width about two feet. Advantage over other upright boxwoods is dense growth that won't flop open. Will fit nicely next to the porch stairs and in the corner by the garage.
These all-weather planters are classic and can be used year-round. They would look great as a pair flanking the front door. I would add low-maintenance greenery to my porch with a simple boxwood topiary or a small spruce tree.