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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sprucing Up the Porch

With summer settled in, I decided it was high time I finally get a few things accomplished outside.

Here in the south we've been dealing with suffocating heat and humidity, so each time I go outside I turn around and head back in. It's that uncomfortable. The temperatures have been very near 100 for a few weeks, and the heat index has been around 105. Ugh.

And besides that, I've sadly discovered that the mosquitos love me - totally and completely. Seriously, I currently have 37 bites on me.

Anyhoo, back to getting things done.

In typical Funky Junk fashion, Donna has issued a challenge for us to just Gitter Done.
The challenge was to knock something off your to-do list that's been hanging over you for a while. Anything. Didn't have to be big and didn't even have to be decor related.

But since cleaning out all of my files isn't a visually exciting task for you guys to see, I chose to finally tackle the outside a bit.

So I thought, "What the hey! I can do this."
I took the challenge and I'm happy to say I DID finally get my porch looking presentable.


Here is the front of my house when we first moved in. Mind you, it was winter time so everything looks cleaned up.

Let me just tell you, when summertime hit, along with the heat and all of the heavy rains, those bushes and the weeds took off like wildfire. The bushes got so big they were all touching each other, and the weeds were growing so fast I couldn't keep up with them.

Let's take a closer look at the porch so you can what I've done.

I decided to work on the yard at night because the heat wasn't near as bad and the humidity was more tolerable.
And to fight the mosquitos, my niece gave me a portable OFF insect repellent fan to hook on myself.
(It works fantastic! Thanks Courtney. I even went and bought refills.)

**After seeing my Gitter Done list, I realized that I ALSO qualified for Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage's 10 Tasks in 10 Days Challenge, so I'm linking up there as well. **

Here is my Gitter Done list:
(Sorry I didn't get a before picture in the summer, but trust me, everything was wild)
1. Trim the bushes - DONE (hubby)
2. Pressure wash porch and get rid of spider webs - DONE
3. Weed all the mulch beds - GETTING THERE
4. Trim the hostas - DONE (there's a story on that at the end of this)
5. Find something to control the mosquitos - DONE (cool tiki bottles from Big Lots)
6. Pot flowers for the steps - DONE (but they keep dying from the heat)
7. Get a vinyl address for the front door - DONE (via ExpressUrself - thanks Lynette)
8. Put some seating on porch - DONE
9. Find something to hold my magazines - DONE (thrift shop)
10. Make pillows for the seating - (Borrowed some from my market stash for now)
11. Make wreath for door - DONE (but ended up on window instead)
12. Find a pleasant sounding windchime - DONE (Joann Fabrics 70% off)
13. FInd something for the morning glory's to grow on - DONE (again Big Lots)
14. Get solar lights for the pathway - DONE (Walmart, $2.50 each)

My mother will be so proud. :)

(Just keep in mind as you look at the pictures that I like things simplified, practical and pretty, so you won't see a ton of stuff fluffing up my porch.)

I was shooting into sun here, so forgive the glare on all the windows.

See that screen on the top of my porch? The storm blew it off and I haven't figured out how to reach it to get it back on yet. Forgive me.

It's hard to get good pictures with those columns in the way, but I love them anyway.

Eventually the Morning Glory will make it's way up that iron piece.

So there it is. No big major renovation, just a porch spruce up. 


In my to do list, I told you there was a story about cleaning up my hostas.
Like I said, we've had terrible heat, which obviously results in sun damage, and my plants have definitely been affected.
One side of the porch gets it much worse than the other, which is why I removed the hanging baskets from the left side.

Look at my poor hosta on that side.
Trust me, it's worse than it looks.

I started cutting back all of the dead leaves.........

Only to discover that they were ALL dead.
A quick "what to do" from the internet told me to cut all the leaves off and leave the stems at about 8" and wait for the new growth.
Another site told me to pull them out completely and replace them since the leaves start before the stems do on this particular plant.

I don't want to completely lose them if I don't have to.


A little side note: Here's a sneak peak at that new wreath.
I'll be whipping up a tutorial pretty soon.


  1. If you want plants that take HEAT try sedium and moss rose. I have them on the outdoor oven we call a deck and they are doing fine. I dump a pitcher of water on them every few day...

  2. Good Morning Polly, girl your front porch looks lovely and inviting my friend...I have not a clue about flowers girl..Good luck with yours and the heat...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  3. Your porch looks lovely! Very inviting! - Karen

  4. The above comment is right. Hostas really like a nice cool shady spot. Your porch is lovely. I recently planted the front of my vacation house with sedum as I am not there to water all the time. ~olive

  5. Wow wow wow... talk about comfy curb appeal! BIG difference Polly! Nicely done! Isn't it awesome to have something to appreciate when you walk outside now?

    Regarding the hostas, I have some that totally thrive in our mild conditions. But when they start to deteriorate, I simply wait for the leaves to wither, then cut them flush with the ground. They get bigger and bigger every year. You may need to eventually move them to a shadier spot in order for them to thrive. Mine are in alot of shade.

    Thanks for linking your before and after up to GD2! Glad it helped. :)


  6. Everything is just lovely! I really like your magazine stand, very clever and so inviting. You did a great job! I love your colums too - your house is just beautiful.

  7. Oh, Polly! I feel so bad about the heat you've been having, but it must make you feel so good that you made a big dent in your yard work and gardening. The porch and shrubs look fantastic. I love your pots and the cute little accents~it's anything but simple!!

    In spite of our heat, my hostas are doing great. They thrive in the shade, so that may be your problem. Best of luck! :-)


  8. are they in the sun? hostas positively HATE sun - they want light or will put up w/ dappled sun. lovely difference & a 'feel good' project!

  9. Your porch looks just wonderful. I love the columns too. So pretty. The chair and the little magazine stand are both perfect and all the pretty plants are just the frosting on the cake. Gorgeous. Hugs, Marty

  10. Your porch looks homey and inviting. I love the colors and that adorable rocker. Your flower beds look great too. Now about those hostas, I don't know the proper method but I am not above going crazy with my scissors. I trim leaves and pull out spent leaves all the time. Just makes it look neater to me. In years that we've had extreme heat my hostas have not been happy. That's for sure! They do need shade and plenty of water.

  11. yeah you!!!
    great job

    it's 90 here today
    uh hum, I'm inside sewing

  12. Great job. I know the heat is horrible. I cannot wait to see what your wreath is going to look like. I can already tell I will like (love) it.

  13. Nice work, Polly! Wanna come weed my beds? : ) My hostas get like that, too, after we've had major heat (and they are in the sun as well), but I pretty much leave them alone. If there are some obvious dried/dead leaves I'll cut them off. They do fare better in the shade, so you may want to move them in the Fall, after you cut them back.

  14. Major improvement. Really lovely. Hard to get out there in this heat! Way to go.

  15. Wow! The porch looks wonderful Polly!! I love all the added touches too!
    And that wreath looks adorable!! Can't wait to see it!!

  16. Your porch looks wonderful! I wish I had room for chairs and other things. Mine is very small and not much of a porch. Just a covering. I'm working on it though!

  17. Polly, your porch looks like a lovely spot to sit and read a magazine!!!! I love that holder thing!!! You are so clever! Everything looks so nice!!!

    I did my porch too. Only I didn't get to posting yet!!!!

    It's hot here too. Oppressively hot! 90's with humidity like 500%!

  18. Oh and I love the wreath hanging on the outside of the window! I'll be (stealing) borrowing that idea, ok?


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