Once again trying to make the most of front porch season and the beautiful front porch that Chris added on to our house a few years ago!
Front porch living is definitely an art and a skill and it’s something we get a little better at every year. This year we had a little bit of a delayed start to porch season because we had a family of robins nesting on top of the trim of our front door. The babies are all grown up now and they’ve moved out, so last week we were free to give the porch a really good deep clean and get everything really ready for us to be able to sit out there whenever the mood strikes. Basically that just involved removing dust and dirt from when the farmers planted their fields this year, spider webs, nest-building debris, and little muddy bird foot prints all over our white railing. It feels so fresh and clean out here now!
So here’s your little tour of our front porch for summer 2022. 🙂
Front Porch 2022
I’m so grateful to myself and my good decision making skills from the past couple of years as far as porch furnishings go. We have all-weather everything out here and it’s super helpful to not have to worry about things breaking down and needing to be replaced constantly. Our climate is very humid and we get lots of rain, wind off the fields, hot summer temperatures, but also plenty of below-freezing days in the winter. Anything on the exterior of your house just takes such a beating.
I still have my old square wood planters out front here and I think they’ll be OK for another year or two, but then I’ll be replacing them with the same all-weather square planters that I added to the side porch last year. It’s so nice not to have to worry about needing to repaint those every year. We do have an outdoor paint that we love for the few painted wood surfaces we have out here, but for some reason, it just doesn’t last as long on the little planters as it does on porch trim.
The oversized fern planter by the door belonged to our neighbour in our old house. She didn’t want it anymore and asked if I could use it. It’s another really good quality all-weather planter and at this point it’s probably 20-25 years old and still in perfect shape. I’m absolutely sold on this whole concept, if you can’t already tell. 🙂
We definitely have some overgrown foundation gardens that need a little bit of attention. I was kind of leaving them to let them fill up a bit, but I think they may have gone a little too far at this point!
I find it takes a little bit of focus to get used to the routine of using an extra outdoor space like this when you don’t get out there much during the cooler part of the year.
This year so far we’ve been finding it really easy to get out for an hour or two of quality porch time on weekend evenings, but that’s about it. I happened to watch Something’s Gotta Give about a month ago and the scene where they’re having dinner with the wine in the ice bucket really struck me. There was something about the casual ceremony of that setup that I loved and I realized I didn’t even own an ice bucket, but that it would be perfect to sit out on the porch with a nice chilled bottle of wine and maybe some snacks and watch the amazing sunsets we get out there. I set out to find an ice bucket of course and I found one I loved with a handle. And then I realized that I basically already owned something exactly like it. Remember the hurricanes from my Christmas front porch steps?
One of them is now my ice bucket for the summer. 🙂
Pictured above: The actual ice bucket I liked before I realized I had this | Similar tray | Tea towels | Planter from my local Home Depot (!!)
I’m hoping to remind myself that this porch is available to me as a second living room once school is out for summer. Sometimes it gets pretty loud/distracting in the house with everyone doing their own thing or watching videos loudly on their devices in the living room and it can be hard to think when I’m trying to work.
Front Porch Planters and Plants
I’m so happy with how this year’s planters turned out. I don’t know why, but filling the planters every year seems like such an important ritual and choosing the right plants always seems like a big decision. 🙂 I still need to order another pair of planters for the top of the stairs, but I just haven’t gotten around to it, and this is OK for now. Keeping it simple for the time being, but I’m definitely feeling like I could use a bit more green out here. 🙂
Last year I decided to try doing all perennials in my planters rather than annuals that would just die and go to waste at the end of the season. I have these removable grow bags inside all my square planters and I thought that I could remove them at the end of the season, over-winter them in the garage, then plunk them back in. Well, the garage was kind of a mess in the fall, so they all ended up just sitting out in a row just outside the garage. Some survived and some didn’t. I ended up just planting the ones that survived in different gardens around the property this spring, so it was definitely still worth it to go with perennials vs. annuals. My gardens are a little fuller now and I’m happy to have the plants still be useful this year.
I did mostly did the same thing this year, with the exception of the big fern by the front door that I just couldn’t resist and the two bright green sweet potato vines in the square planters that I added for pizazz. I have plans to reuse all of the English ivy and the French lavender in other gardens that could use a few more plants at the end of the season so almost nothing is going to waste again this year. Or maybe I’ll actually successfully get them all into the garage and save myself some work next spring. 🙂
So nothing too new or exciting to report out on the porch so far this year, but of course, I’ve been working at setting this porch up in a way so that it could stay the same year after year and not feel outdated or worn out, so I’d say that’s a sign that I’ve achieved that. 🙂
Do you change your porch furnishing regularly, or do you like to try to keep them pretty classic so they can stay the same year after year?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.