Friday, June 7, 2019

Back Porch and the Potting Bench

This has been the week to finally share my outside spaces... good and not so good. Earlier in the week I posted my front porch that's in the middle of a facelift. That post is a kind of a cringe-worthy "before photo", but I know it's going to get better. So now to the back of the house. I'll show you the potting bench first, since it's the most fun to look at.

I put together a potting bench two houses ago underneath our deck. That was when potting benches were "the thing" and everyone found something to mish mash into one. What I realized is that I really did need one to keep all my garden stuff together in one place. I had a ton of vintage garden things at that time and it fit right in. Fast forward 6 years and 2 houses and now I finally have another great spot to set things up.

The back porch here is considerably more up-to-date than the front, but still not "there" yet. The outside spaces at our previous house were not conducive to relaxing and lounging. The deck was hot and sunny most of the time and even though the lower level patio was much better, it was just too difficult to access to make it a spontaneous destination. Because of that we were (are) still using an 18 year old patio set, and I'd not replaced my chair cushions for many years. 

A couple of years ago I did replace some worn out wicker furniture with these 4 "all weather" vintage styled chairs from Pier 1 which helped a bunch. The back leg of an old wicker chair literally broke as I sat down in it, so I considered that an indicator I might need some new pieces. The new ones are comfortable and easy to keep clean, and a great place to plop down in for a quick break.

The pollen and leaf debris has been overwhelming here, since this is the first time in ages that I've had to deal with numerous mature trees. It has been a daily job to sweep and use the leaf blower just to keep it looking presentable.

We have a big yard (much bigger than I ever wanted especially at our age) and the landscaping needs some major help. We think the back porch was added on about 10-15 years ago, which means the flower beds were put in about the same time. We need to have new liner and mulch and some kind of border, to clean them up.

If you look closely at the above pic you can see two of my old gates leaning against the trees. They are there because I didn't have any place to put them, so now they are squirrel perches. Did I mention we have a large extended squirrel family? oh yes, grandmas, grandpas, great grandmas, babies, etc. oh yeh, lots and lots of squirrels. We have an over abundance of nuts, so I guess we're grateful, they just need to stay out of the attic.

This is the other side of the porch with the older pieces. The park bench that we'd bought for my in-laws 20 years ago is hidden by the wicker rocker. Speaking of sad, I'm not sure how sturdy the wooden slats are. I bought a new seat cushion for it, but that doesn't cover up the problem. ugh. Like everything else, it will be replaced when more pressing issues are taken care of... could be a moment, though. haha.

Some of my fun little concrete critters are hanging out back here. Sheep, squirrels, rabbits.

I gave my potting bench a quick pick-me-up with a coat of white paint and brought my old door out here to give the shelf a little backing. That old door has been a big part of my life for. ever. But I didn't have a place for it here. It sat in the garage all forlorn looking, thinking it might have to go away. Even though it does block some light in the garden room, I couldn't let it go without trying it out here.

A lot of odds-and-ends boxes and baskets found their way out here, and now have a variety of small plants taking up residence.

A few years ago I found this old English Ironstone tureen somewhere, (I can't remember where, probably a swap meet) that was missing a handle. Now I don't know if you've ever tried, but you literally CANNOT throw old ironstone out. You cannot do it, it is a law of the universe; like gravity. It cannot be thrown away. So it's out here with it's little disfigurement turned the other direction. 90 % of this piece is wonderful, the other 10 not so much. I'll refrain from getting philosophical on this whole line of thought.

My sis and I found two of these little vintage concrete planters on my last vintage market outing; and these are the smallest version of this type of vintage flowerpot that I've seen. tiny. As I've said before, we love exactly the same thing, so it always helps if there are two of whatever it is we want to buy.

an old sewing drawer with a fern...

And speaking of "sewing", I've had this old Singer sewing machine base for years that someone had attached some kind of metal grate to. It's perfect for outside and my old metal fence gate is resting behind it.

As I take pics I'm constantly adding and subtracting elements. This little vignette changed several times before I ended up with this.

Have any of you Wisconsonites heard of Mello Creme?

We've really enjoyed having this space, even though it's only been about 6 weeks since we've had it usable. When we first looked at the house we came out here and sat for a few minutes relaxing. A breeze was blowing and even though it was mid-July and over 90 degrees it was pleasant and we knew then that we had really been missing a spot like this. We find ourselves migrating out here for a late night conversation or an afternoon glass of something. I know that it will be a place we can enjoy for a long time to come. 

Thanks for coming by, friends. Have a wonderful weekend.

joining in here:

 Sunday at Home at Little Farmstead  
 Celebrate Your Story at Celebrate and Decorate
Dishing It and Digging It at DIY180 
 Inspiration Monday at Refresh Restyle   
Tips and Tutorials at Home Stories A to Z
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life  
Keep in Touch at Let's Add Sprinkles 
 Talk of the Town at Knick of Time
Turnabout Tuesday at My Wee Abode 
Share Your Style at French Ethereal 
 Style Showcase at Shabby Fufu  
 Wonderful Wednesday at LeCultivateur 
Thursday Favorite Things at Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Grace at Home at Imparting Grace
Sweet Inspiration at Home Health and Heart
Farmhouse Friday at The Painted Hinge


  1. Love your porch area. With time you will be moving things and putting things different and you will get it where you want it.
    I love love love that potting bench. How cool is that. Love the way you have it styled too. So sweet. Happy Thursday.

  2. Debra,
    Love your out`of~doors space!
    I, too, have a wrought iron etagere on our deck
    which I adore for making Gardening vignettes!
    Last evening, I sat out~of~doors with "Mr.Ed"
    and we enjoyed a cool breeze in the Front Gardens!
    Having a beautiful place to relax is essential at our age!
    . . .and yours is lovely!

  3. What a fun and adorable space. The Lamb Brand produce box is amazing! I love the concrete lamb too. I know that you will enjoy it. Your yard is amazing.

  4. What a cute little spot of earth. Decorated perfectly. I am sure you will enjoy it very much.

  5. Lovely. You must have had a really good time creating all this. I had an old gate like that one and left it behind because it had clematis growing on it . I bet the owners threw it away. Oh well. Yours is beautiful.

  6. Debra, I have been following you for over a year now and love everything you do. Your decor is exactly everything I adore. You are a kindred spirt! I don't usually comment too often on any blog, but I felt like you should know that ALL you do is so amazing to me. Keep it up, I look forward to my time visiting you and I get sooooo many ideas. You are an inspiration. Love the porch!

    1. Hi Anita! thankyou so much for leaving this comment, I so appreciate hearing from readers that do not blog themselves. Sometimes we're not sure anyone is out there enjoying what we love so much ourselves. It's so nice to know that you've been a reader and follower. You've made my day!

  7. You have such fun collections! And a potting bench is the cheeriest thing. You have such amazing space and views. I know squirrels can be a nuisance but I think I would enjoy watching them. What a wonderful place to sit!.

  8. Hi Debra!
    I love your potting bench and your collection of items on it! My dream is to have a little potting shed with a bench like that in it! I love your ironstone tureen and wholeheartedly agree that you just can't through any such piece out! You just can't! I do hope you'll share at Homestyle Gathering!
    >>> Kim

  9. Thanks for sharing at Talk of the Town Debra. I envy your back porch. It's beautiful!

  10. I love how you decorated your sweet potting bench, Debra! The back yard looks lovely, and yes...we have an extended family of squirrels here, too! Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Turn About!

  11. I envy you your lovely space. You have fixed it up so nicely--and comfortably, too! I have tiny front stairs and no porches. I'd love a deck off my bedroom slider (needs to be replaced with French doors): all it takes is time and money! I always enter those sweepstakes when the prize is $10-25,000 in landscaping; don't I wish! At Home Depot today I splurged for a little barrel of succulents for $9.98, some B1G1F impatiens and some herbs!

  12. I can't tell you how much I love your porch! And that potting bench is the cutest! You have such great style Debra! Thank you for sharing with Charming Homes and Gardens!


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