Here we are on day three of my three day Summer blog tours. (You can check out my living room here, and my kitchen and dining room here). I thought we’d end with my personal favorite summer space at my house today as I join several other bloggers in the Summer In Style Outdoor Edition hosted by the lovely Katrina at Chic Little House. (You can find her amazing patio here.) Today we are going to take a tour of our porch and gardens. Our Cape Cod style house features a wraparound porch that happens to be our family’s favorite summer hangout. We gather there to play card games, eat meals, read, talk, or watch the kids play. Because it has such happy memories already associated with it, it’s my absolute fave! I am also going to show you an area of our yard that has become my husband’s baby… our veggie garden! Although I am the big herbivore in our family, Chris is the one who truly puts a lot of time and love into this space, and it shows. We all put a little time into it as well, so it’s a bit of a family project, but certainly he’s the leader. Without further ado, let’s take a look at Summer In Style Outdoor Edition: Porch and Gardens! (I’ve used affiliate links where applicable- thank you!)
As I mentioned, our porch is the family favorite this time of year with a place to eat, a place to hangout, and a hammock we all love to relax in, it truly has everything we need. The boho style hammock was a birthday gift from Chris and the kids a couple of years ago, and I spend many hours reading in it. As you can see, hanging near it is a bird perch Emmy created as well as a “stained glass” hanging she made with melted plastic beads. Surrounding myself with plants, the smell of peonies and roses, hanging lights, and my kids creations guarantees happy vibes.
We also have a hummingbird feeder hanging nearby, and I love to watch the birds feed and flitter about. Something about their size and movement is purely magical to me. Each Summer I hang ferns as well; I love the green lushness they bring. Typically Home Depot runs great sales where you can get each for around $5-$10. I purchased mine Memorial day weekend for just $10 each.
Just down the front of the porch from the hammock is the “main entry” though we rarely actually use that door and rely strongly on the side door which enters into the kitchen. However, it does offer the perfect little nook to add my touch to.
We replaced our old light fixtures on the porch earlier this Spring and the new ones make all the difference. The window frame and bench pretty much stay in this spot as they fit well. We’ve added a praying mantis the kids and I found for Chris at an arts festival, as well as some of my houseplants that come outside for the season. The pale blue trunk I painted last year, and it just adds some height and interest.
Above the bench on a teal window frame I hung a vintage bull skull which has faded tribal paint on it’s forehead. The beads were a 50 cent yard sale find that I used as a headband in the Spring, but this Summer, it’s a necklace. 😉 #smallchange I love the little touch of green they add.
Around the corner from the hammock heading in the other direction is our dining area. We’ve already eaten many meals out here. Last weekend, Chris was ill with food poisoning, but the kids and I headed outside to eat dinner together and play several rounds of Fan Tan, a family favorite card game.
The string lights that hang above are so bright that we can easily see into the dark hours of the night…. not that I can even stay up that late anymore, but on the rare occasion that I do, the porch is well-lit for me! We had other lights for the last few years, but they finally bit it this Spring. I found these LED string lights on Amazon, and I love the look and how they tie into the porch fixtures as well. We actually had one bulb that refused to work and the company promptly sent me a replacement.
I decided to set the table with a simple eclectic setting for this tour. I purchased this beautiful runner a couple of years ago from my favorite local shop that just closed. It’s made by an Australian company, Bonnie & Neil, and they make the most gorgeous textiles…. I love their pillows! They actually have a lovely blue and green runner at Uncommon Goods right now.
For each place setting I used two sets of vintage plates I had on hand…. small blue willow dishes as well as Indian Tree dinner plates. The vintage glassware I shared last week for Thrift Score Thursday, but I am still totally smitten with them.
These glasses just catch the light beautifully.
In the center of the table, I placed a large aqua recycled glass vase (similar to this one), and inside of it I placed the top of my fiddle leaf fig tree…. gasp! I know, but it was getting really tall and lanky and was looking like Shaggy from Scooby Doo with its stature, so it was time. I love how it looks in this vase with its giant leaves.
Behind the table sits a vintage dresser I painted last year. It works as a server when we eat outside, but also stores all of my extra pots, hummingbird feed, and more.
I’ve been wanting to propagate my pothos plants since they seem to do well for the most part. The more the merrier when it comes to plants, right? I used my vintage amber bottles to start the process and I’ll leave them here until I see roots beginning to form.
For now, I love how this little collection looks while they begin their rooting process.
On the back end of the porch is our seating area. A couple of years ago we purchased a loveseat and a couple of chairs from Target’s Belvedere collection. We are still so happy with them! (Also, there is no photo-shopping out the trampoline in the back yard! I bought that for the kids last year, and Chris was sure it would be a waste of money, but I can tell you my kids play on it almost every single day! It’s been amazing for their activity, and also provides shelter to our chickens.)
Last year I found these huge cobalt planters at Costco, and they are perfect next to our door. We added a couple of our $10 ferns as this space gets no direct sunlight. On the love seat, I’ve draped a blue Mexican blanket, and added some green pillows as well as a crab pillow… a little nautical, a little Maryland.
Hanging above the bench/coffee table are two vintage aqua planters that were a gift. I’ve filled them with spider plants I propagated.
Beyond the seating area lies an herb garden I added last year by digging up some brick. On the fence panel this year I hung a vintage midcentury clock I’ve had for YEARS in my garage… like it moved here with us. It’s been in disrepair, so I decided to finally put it to use here.
It looks perfect hanging over the herb garden. And look at that lavender going strong! I can’t wait to dry it this year.
In the back yard behind the herb garden, you can spy the blue chicken coop we built last year. We currently have 11 chickens as we just got 4 young ones this past weekend at the Maryland Poultry Swap. I’ll be sure to introduce them soon. Unfortunately when I was shooting this tour, it was cloudy with rain coming in, and they were all hiding under the bushes in the yard. Last year for Father’s Day we bought this climbing rose for Chris, and I’ve been training it to grow along the fence. We’re really pleased with how well it is doing this year.
As you can probably see from these photos, our back yard is rather sloped, and that area is all fenced in for the hens. After it slopes upward it levels out into a flat grassy area, which we understand was once intended for baseball playing by previous owners. We’ve used that space for our vegetable garden. Chris created the fence around it as this area is not in our fenced in portion, and I found the vintage gate at a yard sale.
I love the little bit of charm the vintage gate brings to the garden.
It’s the beginning of the season, so right now everything is just beginning to grow. We’ve got tomato plants… fresh summer tomatoes are my absolute favorite!
We’ve also got peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers. The cucumbers grow up a trellis that Chris created with some wood and wire fencing. He had the kids paint and decorate it and it’s my favorite part of the garden for that reason.
We also added a little raised bed for strawberries this Spring, but the bunnies keep stealing our fruit. We need to figure out how to step those rascals.
At the entrance to the garden, we have a couple of small blueberry bushes that we hope to see mature over the years. It’s currently producing and will offer me a great little one time snack this year. 😉
Around the outside perimeter of the garden, we’ve planted some cutting flowers and other lovely flowers just to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing. We had intended to create a cutting garden this year, but it didn’t quite happen. There’s always next year! Here’s a little sample of what we have…
In between our garden and our back yard is an unsightly thicket which grows all sorts of unwanted plants. This year Chris decided to start planting rhododendron next to it to create a border. Because we are working on a very limited budget, we’re taking baby steps…. one at a time.
In addition to the garden, our yard also boasts an apple tree. Last year we had a cold snap in May and lost most of our would-be fruit. However, this Spring was long and lovely, and I am pleased that our tree is filled with the beginnings of apples. I love to use our apples in the Fall to make applesauce.
I hope that now you can see why this space is my Summertime favorite… our yard is full of so much life between the fruits, veggies, chickens, plants, and hummingbirds; and there is space to run around, to plant and watch things grow, and spend time with the people who matter most. Summer time at our house is when I truly feel like I am living the dream. 🙂
Thank you so much to Katrina for organizing this Summer in Style Outdoor Edition tour. You can find the rest of the participants below, and below that, you can shop the style of my outdoor spaces. Thank you!