Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Spring change on the front porch……

The decorated urn in my new header was a spur of the moment/design minute while out in the garden on Easter Sunday afternoon. After a cloudy morning the sun popped out and, although rather breezy, I decided to take a garden walk with my trusty Felco (the best) pruners in hand.

Click pics to enlarge

Are you like me, never certain when to actually prune what? This day I was just doing random nip and tuck in the back area. That meant clipping cheeky invasive wisteria vines creeping into a nearby tree - not good. Some never-to-see-the-light-of-day lower leafless rhododendron twigs required removal. Swathes of ivy draping over the edges of some very big pots scattered around the garden had to be given severe haircuts before taking root in the surrounding ground……the biggest no-no for which my DH is ready to toss ME into the compost bin! Ask him how many hours days he spent last Autumn yanking yards of ivy from the flower beds!

I ended up lifting this huge and heavy urn up onto the potting bench - used for decoration, or supporting a tea cup or wine glass, rather than actually potting - on the front porch. Added an old, fast turning vintage, grapevine ball, the pruned twigs and some of the ivy, and voila something new and quite pretty to welcome any and all callers to the cottage.

Note the fern in the basket in the foreground.  This one of two maidenhair ferns I purchased last week - both to plant in the shady back garden as companions to the bluebells. It's so dainty and bright so decided I'd keep one in the pot here until the weather heats up, then later transfer to the shady ground it apparently enjoys and will eventually spread across.

Perfect weather now for playing in the garden. A little rain has watered the plants and settled the pollen, there are no biting mosquitoes yet, and I've managed to get many outdoor chores done. Next on the list is cleaning out the potting shed……….and painting some small pieces of furniture that have been hiding in there over the long, cold winter months.

What's happening in your garden this week?


  1. I am waging the usual war against slugs , who would like to eat the entire garden bit by bit. Today I've put eggshells round my tiny plants as apparently slugs won't crawl over them. We'll see.

  2. I love everything about your front porch vignette. What a lovely way to welcome guests or enjoy the view while sipping your tea or wine.
    Yes, we are having perfect gardening weather here in NC now. I plan to get out there myself today.
    Yesterday I noticed the two large ash trees in my backyard seem to be dead. After an online search, I am concerned they have been struck by the emerald ash borer. Heartbreaking as they anchor each corner of my garden and seemed to be fine last fall. :(
    As for that blasted ivy.... when I first moved here the gardening expert in the Charlotte Observer had an article warning us to NEVER plant it due to it's invasive tendencies. We did plant a small amount a few years ago. Wish I would have listened to her now. Ha!

  3. Good morning Mary! I love your impromptu arrangement. I have planted some flowers in my urns on the porch and purchased a couple of hanging baskets. Now I have to get into the habit of watering them. Herbs have been planted in the raised beds, swiss chard and green bean seeds have also been planted. As well as a couple of heirloom tomato plants that I ordered online. Today we are suppose to have thunderstorms in the afternoon and then a beautiful rest of the week!

  4. I'd die to have a front porch! Instead I have a little balcony too small for anything...I love how you decorated yours!

  5. I've been pruning so much that I have a muscle ache in my pruning arm! Plus, my pruners bit the dust yesterday. I have to buy some new one STAT!


  6. Lovely Mary. I have two planters on my deck in which I have planted red geraniums, basil, thyme and parsley. Love this Spring weather.

  7. Hi Mary, Your garden is so charming and your impromptu arrangement on your porch adds to the charm. How fun to save the pruned bits and pieces to make a beautiful arrangement. Spring in North Carolina is so lovely and I get homesick when I see your garden.
    Hugs, Erin and Bentley

  8. Good morning, Mary. What a delightful vignette you've created on your front porch. I love the urn and all the other touches you've added. It's a sunny day here; the radishes and kale have just sprouted and I plan to get out there and do a little more planting - carrots and swiss chard, I think. Have a wonderful day.

  9. Hi Mary, I love your new header and the beautiful urn that makes up part of the photo. Your front porch is so pretty. The colour of the potting bench really warms the spot up. We haven't been gardening yet. The ground is still frozen in spots and also wet and some snow is still lingering. Soon though. :) Have a lovely day.

  10. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Oh Mary, I always enjoy reading about the happenings in your garden . . . and seeing your lovely photos.
    My little ones and I discovered that one of our tomato plants has 6 small tomatoes, and we're so excited!
    Sending happy thoughts your way,

  11. Dear Mary, How charming your front porch looks. Love the colors and objects...so skillfully arranged and so beautifully photographed
    . ox, Gina

  12. Your arrangement looks beautiful! I have all of our flower and herb pots planted. I still need to plant the purchased flat of vinca flowers along the front walkway. That is tomorrow's project.

  13. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up plus the rest of the website is also really good.


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