Summer is winding down, as I have already mentioned. The big blue pots on either side of the front door have been planted up with red geraniums, a vine-y thing, and a looks-like-petunias-but-its-really-something-else-I-can’t-remember-cascade-y thing. They have been pretty accents on the porch, but they have suffered from forgetful watering several times and the stress of that is probably what left them vulnerable to an infestation of whiteflies. Rather than fight with them, I decided I would rather just discard the tired plants and get something fresh to look at for the next few weeks. I am lucky to be able to walk down the side alley to a neighbor’s house to choose some just-starting-to-bloom chrysanthemums.
When I pulled the pots away from their spots, here is what I found. This is what you don’t see in the magazine spreads of “welcoming entrances, right? It’s real life, though, and it is going to require some scrubbing. Now, if you think I am going to scrub my entire front porch, you’ve got another thing coming. I’m the queen of “that’s good enough,” after all. Also, while I am out here on the porch getting myself wet (I know this will happen — I always get wet when I use water!), I decide I may as well take apart and scrub the dog’s crate, a job I try to do a couple of times a year. Half the time, I don’t get around to it until it is so far into autumn that we need to shut off the outside faucets and it either doesn’t get done at all or I’m out there doing it (and getting wet) in very chilly air, so I am kind of proud of myself for remembering it today. Then, if I am going to clean the dog’s crate, I am going to wash his crate towel (which I do many, many more times than twice a year), and if I am going to do that, I am going to brush him.
Our dog always acts like he is being tortured when he realizes he is going to be brushed, but as soon as he accepts that no amount of slinking and mooning is going to make a difference, he settles in and acts like he is having a spa day. Silly animal.
So after I finished pampering Calvin, I did all the dirty scrubbing and rinsing — no pix because of my track record with water. You understand.
Is it me or do the spiders seem to have been extra busy weaving this year?
When I finally finished, everything was dripping but satisfactorily clean.
I love our front door. I painted it last summer and smile every time I approach it since. That blue is ME!
I got two pots of well-grown mums to replace the infested summer flowers. They are only $5 each — quite a bargain. Do let me note here that I know it is a luxury to be able to buy plants. There have been times when that sort of fun was simply not part of our budget, and I want any reader who finds herself in that situation to know I understand. Lacking funds for flowers, never underestimate the impact and pleasure of simply keeping the entry clean and tidy. I was impressed with what a difference just that effort made. But of course, it is lovely to have some seasonal color.
I was pleased to discover it wasn’t necessary to lug potting soil up from the basement and so on right now. I simply left about half the old soil in the big pottery pots and scooped out an area in the center to cradle the nursery pots. Leaving the mums in those was nice for the time I had available today, but if I see them suffering at all I can always repot them in more soil as I had originally planned.
I was careful to choose plants whose bloom is just getting started, which will allow us to enjoy fresh-looking flowers for as long as possible.
It gives me a lift to be welcomed home by a neat front entrance. We don’t go in for much decorating at our house, really, but flowers on the porch are always a happy addition.
Do you decorate for the seasons?