Porches are important anywhere, I presume, but in the south they are ideal for our everyday lifestyle. We make use of them all year long. Often they help blend the inside of our homes to the outside.
Hoe & Shovel has yet to realize our dream home which would include a large craftsman style wrap around porch graced with plentiful rocking chairs. It's important to keep our dreams alive with images of what could be. But I digress.
Until then, we make great use of our humble and quite ordinary style screened lanai (or porch). It is partly under roof arranged with a couple of area tables and chairs for eating and relaxing. The remainder of it is open-air but fully caged with typical Florida-style pool decking and screening to keep all the buggies out. A brick paved patio just outside the screening transitions the hardscape to the back garden.
Countless family and holiday gatherings around the pool area have been the center of activity over the years. Most of our daily evening meals include cooking on the gas grill and then having our dinner (and many times breakfast and lunch, too) on the back porch.
The look of naturally aged cedar appeals to me more than paint at the moment so I've chosen to let the adirondacks weather naturally with time. Situated in the far corner (above) of the pool deck with the back garden in clear view, this is a primary summer spot for hubby and I to chit chat and enjoy coffee together. These days we wait until the intense temps of daylight taper off after sundown. A dip in the pool first helps us forget about the lingering humidity. During the rest of the year when temps are heavenly (winter and spring) and the sunshine is welcomed these chairs are privy to every visitor's conversation. This is "my corner" where I can be found doing much of my blogging, reading, and phone conversations.
Would you like to have a look around at the container plants making a mess on my back porch?
Container plants are 're-arranged' a few times each year. Much like a planting bed it becomes necessary to switch out plants as they no longer produce or sometimes I just do it for the season (like Christmas) because they are easy and fun to plant out.
Flower debris falling on the decking can be very messy. I go through stages of deciding I'm weary from the extra work they create then I'll make a definite effort to plant only colorful foliage. Yes, leaves are also messy but not nearly as constant as the tiny petals of indigo spire and mona lavender.
Sometimes it's as if I don't remember how the flower petal debris gets into the pool and on the pool deck and then requires so much more attention and I find myself planting flowers again. This spring I forgot.
I've forgiven myself for this lapse in memory, however, since the indigo spires (sometimes called mystic spires) and mona lavender have done so well in these pots providing so much softness of color and texture right through these sweltering summer months.
The swimming pool has given our family hours of entertainment and relief from the summer heat for all these many years. Much to our joy now our grandchildren are practicing their swimming skills in it as well. It is a blessed treat to take a dip after a day of long hours in the garden for me too.
The angel wing (or dragon wing?) begonia has a permanent home in the far corner year round. It is the one container that I don't change out due to its almost continual show of blooms. It is very messy dropping leaves and petals consistently. But since it has found a perfect home there I'll happily clean up the messes it makes.
The cobalt blue glazed pots in the opposite far corner were new this spring. I've been especially pleased with the lime green contrast of the creeping ginny and the variegated shell ginger (dug out of the garden) against the bright blue.
Darkness is pushed away each day as the sun comes up in view over the back garden. Even before the sun rises this is the table where most mornings I start my day with coffee and my Bible. I'm energized and refreshed by the sights and sounds of the outdoors as the day is dawning with all its promises for what lies ahead.
In the two pots to the left of the adirondack chairs I've combined african iris, dark pink polka-dot plant, miss muffet caladiums, variegated liriope, english ivy and mona lavender. It's been necessary to trim all the plants on the back porch back a few times since spring and still they are spilling over the sides of their pots.
This weekend I'm going to be busy with some renovation. Digging up some non-flowering plants from around the garden to create less-messy bouquets in these pots which will help solve the petal debris issue. I'm certain for a season I'll rejoice at less mess and then, who knows, when spring rolls around again and those pretty annuals are in the garden store, reason (and memory) is likely to fly out the window again.
Well, thanks for coming along with me on my back porch. I wish you could each sit in my adirondacks with a glass of iced tea and chat with me about your gardens.
Enjoy your weekend and happy gardening. Meems