That Old House has a front porch.
As do most old farm houses.
Every Spring, as Summer draws nigh
(I don't think I've ever used that word before in a normal sentence),
I foment (ditto) ambitious plans for turning it into
one of those outdoor rooms you see in magazines.
Like this beautiful veranda, filched from Architectural Digest:
|My porch has a lot in common with this one. Both are white, and both have columns. The end.|
"So, Blissfully Optimistic and Slightly Delusional Homeowner,
how has that worked out for you in the past?"
Funny you should ask.
Because it hasn't.
Most (if by "most" we mean "all") of the years we've been here,
our Porch Fluffing for Summer has pretty much meant hosing the winter schmutz
off the oddball collection of hand-me-down and Craigslist furniture
and, if we felt really daring and creative, re-arranging this motley crew of castoffs.
|2012 - Something new! A rickety hand-me-down table joins The Motley Crew,|
paired with motley chairs from Anne's grad school apartment.
That Old House was painted bridal white in June 2011.
I had a nice, clean blank slate to work with.
The motley crew were all on the front lawn while the oil-based
porch floor paint dried in the humid weather.
This took days,
and the exposure added to the . . umm . . . rustic look of the old furniture.
|Yup. An odd group if ever there was one.|
Don't get me wrong.
We pamper our porch sometimes.
We go all out and tart it up with Dollar Store decor on patriotic holidays.
|Memorial Day, May 2009|
|Memorial Day, 2010. Geez, that really does look awful.|
But one thing we always do for our porch.
We always hang ferns.
Most of the time, they are asparagus ferns,
those tousle-haired relatives of the delicious asparagus
that we roast with sea salt and olive oil.
I am partial to asparagus ferns because they are so carefree.
Meaning - they don't need a lot of care.
I can't vouch for their emotions.
They are airy, gorgeous, and tolerant of benign neglect.
Last year, I could not find suitable asparagus ferns.
So I gave in, and hung prissy Boston ferns instead.
|Must be Thursday - our neighbor across the street has his trash cans to the curb.|
Boston ferns are not easygoing hippies like the asparagus-es;
they are demanding Yankees. They drive Volvos instead of VW microbuses.
They want to be regularly watered and clipped.
They are the Poodles of the fern world: beautiful, but high maintenance.
But last summer, these puppies grew - and grew - and grew,
and became enormous. Really. E-nor-mous.
This picture was taken midsummer. They kept on growing.
By October, when we took them down, each one nearly filled its porch opening.
They looked fantastic. Even I, a diehard asparagus fern fan, had to admit it.
The Bostons were - probably - worth the extra fuss and bother.
They looked, well, appropriate on the porch at That Old House.
Old fashioned and right. Of the period, as they say.
I am thinking that we'll hang them on the porch again this year.
Then I remember how flyaway and fluffy the asparagus ferns look.
And how uncomplaining they are. They are so simple to care for.
Even when I bring them in the house in late
October, after they've playfully stuck dead oak leaves in their hair.
And then I realize they are too big to live inside the house. Sigh.
What thinkst thou?
Asparagus or Boston?
Casual fluffies or button down tradition?
Let me know! -- Cass
And ... there are some excellent Friday blog parties to visit.
At My Romantic Home, it's Show And Tell Friday. Click here!
Feathered Nest Friday makes its home at French Country Cottage. Click here!
The Charm of Home features Home Sweet Home on Fridays. Click here!
It's Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground. Click here!