Mow strips can be made from any solid material used to separate the lawn from a planting bed. They allow a law mower to trim the grass all the way to edge of the lawn without having to use a string trimmer.
I would love to walk under this gorgeous canopy and allow the dense foliage provide cool shade during the warmer months, then as the weather cools and the leaves fall, the winter sun is allowed to penetrate. The flowers are highly scented.
Trellis work is another great idea, hides any imperfect walls/rough plaster work. Attaching several lattice trellises to the exterior portion of the porch allows for privacy and a place for vines or climbing roses to grow.