porch life


I’ve said this before, and I will, no doubt, say it again: I adore porch season.


Our front porch is where we sit to enjoy warm spring evenings, cool summer mornings, a nice breeze, and an up-close, fresh-air view of our front garden.


Now that we have the basic components of our porch arrangement in place — an all-weather wicker loveseat and chair, a table, and a few extra chairs — we only have to spend a day or so each spring in cleaning things off and tweaking the arrangement a bit here and there. And of course setting out new porch plants. Even though our huge perennial garden is just on the other side of the railings, the porch wouldn’t be the same without ferns in the plant stands and a few herbs in pots, and possibly some shade-loving flowers.


Regardless of exactly how our porch looks each year, it’s always my favorite place to enjoy shade and a breeze on a warm day, a cup of coffee or even breakfast in the morning, a glass of wine in the evening, or a peaceful corner and a good book at any time. Around this time every year, it’s as though we gain both an extra room in the house, and a cozy “home outside” spot in the shade to enjoy throughout the summer.


A few years ago, we participated in our neighborhood association’s occasional Porch & Garden Tour. Soooo, for that year’s porch setup, we finally got the rugs and hanging baskets we’d been promising ourselves for a while.


Here’s a phone-snapshot I took before the tour, with (one side of) our porch all ready to welcome guests.



I must admit that one of my other favorite porch-season pastimes is walking through our neighborhood, and other nearby neighborhoods — all of which are filled with charming old houses — and peeking at others’ porches. Some are lush or cozy, some are sparse or formal, and some look decidedly like they could be rooms inside the house. One morning last summer, we walked past a porch with four contented cats lounging outside and watching us from their comfy beds.


If you have a front porch, what do you love most about it? If it’s still a work in progress, let me know, and we’ll brainstorm porch-season ideas.


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“The only important thing in a book is the meaning it has for you.”

W. Somerset Maugham

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”


“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.”

Marcel Proust

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Helene Hanff

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Elizabeth von Arnim

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Neil Gaiman

“The art of reading is … an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us; when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

“When I … looked round at the familiar bookshelves, and could hear no sounds but sounds of peace, and knew that here I might read or dream or idle exactly as I chose with never a creature to disturb me, how grateful I felt to the kindly Fate that has brought me here and given me a heart to understand my own blessedness.”

Elizabeth von Arnim