Thursday, June 29, 2023

The Summer Porch

Hi everyone!  It's been a minute, hasn't it?  I can't believe I went almost two months without writing a post.  I have truly been getting some things accomplished around here, so I finally feel like I can take a little break.  In addition, we went to the beach again in the third week of May and spent some time there with our son.  The weather wasn't good, but we still had fun.   
This summer, I've been planting flowers in much of my free time.  I'm slowly adding perennials in our natural area, and I'm starting to see such a difference in that section of our yard.  We have a mature maple tree there, and we planted two limelight hydrangeas about three years ago.  They bloomed nicely last summer, and they're full of blooms starting to open this year.  We also have azaleas and Lenten roses there.  This year I've planted several more things, and I'll tell you all about them in another post.  Right now, I'm going to share the flowers on our front porch and in front of our house.  

The area to the left of the porch is where our tulip magnolia used to stand.  We had it taken down two years ago, and just now got something planted there this spring.  Alex, who helps us in the yard three or four times a year, planted the shrubs for us.  In the back are three Hoogendorn hollies (which the lady at the plant nursery recommended) and in the front are two azaleas.  They looked so small when they were in the ground, but we may be able to get some more next year.  It was very expensive for just those five shrubs, and I purchased several perennials this spring, too.  Can you even believe the prices of everything these days!?  Thankfully we were able to fill in somewhat with some pieces of garden art, and that always helps.  I already had the small bird bath.  

Hal found the decorative copper bucket for storing our water hose at Costco this spring.

My sweet mother-in-law offered me the St. Francis of Assisi statue and the swan, which holds water for the birds and squirrels.  These two items came from their previous house, and when they downsized a few years ago, she found that she doesn't have room for them in her new yard.  I was thrilled to get them. The greenery in front of the porch is lilyturf (in the liriope family) and it self-seeded from the other side of the porch.  
I think every garden needs a St. Francis.  😊   

I took the above picture this evening.  I forgot to include the planter of petunias in the previous pictures.  The planter also came from my mother-in-law; she is so generous with us. 

 When Alex was here in the spring, he trimmed all of our existing shrubbery and put down fresh pine needles -- basically got everything looking all ship-shape.  He is a huge help to us.  

Now for the plants on the porch.  Next to the door are upright boxwoods, and in the foreground are salmon pink geraniums, which is always my color of choice for geraniums.  I've had this little stone angel and most of these other things on the porch for many years now.

The funny-looking thing sticking up behind the geranium is a deer repellent.  My in-laws told us about them, and we decided to give them a try.  The little round container is filled with stuff that is supposed to smell bad to the deer.  I sure hope it works.  If you'll notice the gray rocks that I have put in the pots around the plants, they are to keep the squirrels and chipmunks from digging in my plants.  

This was in 2016 about two days after I had planted my pots for the summer.  I think that was the angriest I've ever been at God's little creatures.  
These gray stones are pretty heavy, and they seem to be doing the trick so far (fingers crossed).  I planted an autumn fern in front of the window.
I bought this garden plaque at a little garden shop almost 30 years ago when we still lived in Greensboro.  I finally have a good place to put it now.

My mom gave me the copper whirligig for Christmas this past year, and I just love it.  To the left of the door is where our old house numbers were; we still need to get some new ones.

This is the first time I've planted petunias in many years because they tend to get leggy and don't look so tidy.  However, I love the way these look -- that deep purple color is my favorite.  I'm hoping I can keep them neat and tidy.  
So this is part of why I've been away from the blog for awhile; I've been planting, watering, and weeding.  I'll share the perennials I planted another day.  Thank you so much for reading and continuing to visit House at Forest Manor.  Your visits and comments truly make my day!!  Do you have big plans for July 4th?  So far, we do not.  We will probably grill out and try to stay cool.  😉  Looking forward to visiting my fellow bloggers to see what you are doing this summer.     

Much love,

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