Take Time to Relax and Enjoy Your Gardens

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Last week we talked about Planting a Good Foundation Garden which was the perfect pathway (pun intended) to talk about the true function of our wrap around porch. Relaxing! Personally, I think porches are underrated these days. So many new houses put all the focus on the back deck. In our neighborhood, we are the only house to have a wrap around porch. We’ve received so many nice compliments on it too. Over the years, we’ve seen three houses (that we know of) actually add on a small porch or patio to the front of their house. Did we inspire them? Maybe. I hope so.

That said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of my favorite segments of this tour, What’s in My Garden, is definitely the gazebo at the end of our wrap around porch. Technically it’s a 1/2 gazebo as it is not a full circle, but it still functions just as lovely as though it were a full gazebo. I’ll forewarn you, this post has lots of luscious pictures!

The least developed garden around our house is along the side porch and around the gazebo. Even though that is the case, it doesn’t change the fact that it is such a perfect spot to take a quick nap on a hot summer day while the crickets chirp. It is also the spot that gets the hot afternoon sun (so it can get really, really hot at times); yet on a cloudy, slightly windy day it could also deliver quite the shiver when that soft breeze blows through the porch.

When I look out into the back yard, I get a view of the conical evergreen we transplanted from our butterfly garden, as well as another butterfly bush. This garden is host to one of the (now) four butterfly bushes we have around our house gardens. I will always see the monarch butterfly float from bush to bush replenishing its’ hunger. It truly is a beautiful sight indeed.

That is one major benefit to having gardens around your house. They bring so many visitors and while they enjoy your gardens -you get to enjoy them too!

As I sit and look out towards the road, I get a view of this beautiful Rose of Sharon flowering shrub. We’ve actually moved this beast at least four to five times already and as I admired it this summer I’ve come to realize we will need to move it yet again. This shrub attracts a number of bees and that made it difficult to actually sit on the porch this summer. With a yellow house, I’m sure the bees already think it’s a gigantic flower and we do have a bee problem.

So I think I’ll be moving (that’s code for my husband will be moving it!) this beautiful shrub down into the back yard in the fall. Directly behind the Rose of Sharon is a porch sign that reads “This is my happy place” and has an arrow pointing to the gazebo. It goes without saying this year we really slacked off in the weed control area -it was just too darn hot outside!

Of all my hosta plants, this was the first time I ever caught one so perfectly symmetrical and without burned leaves. Naturally I had to grab a photo of it. But, by far though the next hosta plant photo is my favorite!

One day after it had stopped raining I took a walk around the gardens. I saw these elephant ear hosta leaves with raindrops on them and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grab a photo to document my walk in the garden. I also really love these particular hostas because their leaves are almost in the shape of a long heart.

When it is not too hot on the porch, you can often find me relaxing in the evening with a glass of wine. It’s the most peaceful time after a busy day; a place to unwind and let all your worries go. In this spot I have beautiful views all around me. I just put my feet up, close my eyes and listen to nature all around me.

Sometime around the second year, I believe, that we were in the house I had found these white wicker furniture pieces and knew they were perfect for our covered porch. Each year, I’ll arrange them in different ways across the whole porch. I mostly keep them on the side porch and in the gazebo now, as we have two white rocking chairs on the front porch. I love being able to mix and match this whole set.

Although the side porch and gazebo gardens are the least developed of our gardens, I do have big plans for this spot. In the past garden posts, I’ve commented about how we need to get the deck / porch floor paint color off (green) and either stain it (the same color as the back deck) or replace it altogether. That’ll be a project! Once that is completed, I have a wish list of things I want to do in this space.

Porch Gazebo Project

  • Hang sheer curtains in just the gazebo
  • Place an outdoor throw rug down
  • Get new furniture cushions
  • Install decorative chandelier (maybe)
  • Hang outdoor lights
  • Plant good foundation garden with weed control

I hope you have enjoyed this relaxing tour of our porch gazebo and surrounding gardens. Above all else, I do hope it has inspired you to take some time to relax and enjoy your gardens. Go ahead -have the glass of wine too! Don’t forget to come back next week when I’ll be talking about the benefits of gardening.

If you were inspired to take some time out to enjoy your gardens don’t forget to share by tagging me on Instagram and using #btdinspired, I’d love to see your work (and I just might repost your photo)!

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