Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Back to the Porch

One of my favorite rites of spring is the annual Return of the Patio Furniture. In our household, we celebrated the occasion last weekend.

patio furniture

Over the winter, our chairs head south (to the storage space under the porch), partly to protect them from the elements, but mostly so the deck is clear of obstructions when we inevitably (and repeatedly) have to shovel the snow off of it.

patio chairs

Unfortunately when we pulled the chairs out of storage on Saturday, I saw the paint had chipped off some of the edges, so they needed a little TLC before I could set them out.

painted patio chairs

After cleaning up the chairs, sanding a few of the rough spots and giving the pieces a quick all-over spray paint job, they looked almost as good as new.

painted patio chairs

The finish isn't flawless, but the imperfections are hardly noticeable once the whole set is on the porch.

patio cusions

The cushions, which we've had for about five years, were also a little worse for the wear. The fabric on two of them ripped as I was handling them.

I knew Wal-Mart carried the same size cushions, so I made an emergency shopping run on Sunday morning. I was going to buy four sets, but I could only fit two into the cart, so I decided the other two could wait for another day.

porch

The backrest cushions are reversible, which is kind of fun.

porch

Calvin, of course, had to test them out immediately. I think he liked the new cushions better than he did the cat grass I grew for him last week. (Or at least he hated them less. Nothing ever really meets with Calvin's approval.)

porch

I like the black and the green together. The fabric is really brittle, though, so the cushions are going to have to be replaced soon.

porch

After I had the main seating arrangement on the deck, I added a couple of "tables" to put plants on. See the milk can on the right? That came from the farm I grew up on. By the time I was born, we had  a bulk tank to store our milk in; but I have old photos of my dad and grandpa loading milk cans onto the back of my grandpa's truck to haul them to the co-op.   

milk can

The raised lettering on the can reads "ALTO COOP CRY," which would be short for "Alto Cooperative Creamery" (still operating today). 

Pottery Barn lantern

The "table" on the left is an old crate I bought at a garage sale years ago. I put my new Pottery Barn lantern (that I found at a thrift store last winter) inside it. 
  
repotting plants

It's still a bit on the early side to be planting outside here. We'll get frost yet through at least the first half of May. But I wanted to put something green out on the deck, so I grabbed a few of the plants that had survived the winter in my basement and repotted a couple of them.

repotting plants

The plants are awfully wimpy looking now, but as long as I remember to bring them in the house on the nights when there's a frost advisory, they will fill out quickly.

porch

I added another chair and table on the opposite side of the patio set.

plant trivet

The plant is sitting on an old clockface that I found at a thrift store. (No moving clock parts in it, just the wooden face with Roman numerals.)

plant trivet

For a clockface, it makes a lovely plant trivet.

Here's what our porch looked like on Saturday morning:

porch

And here's what it looked like on Sunday afternoon:


Unfortunately, the day after I got everything out on the porch, the weather turned cool and rainy -- we even had a touch of snow today -- so we haven't been able to enjoy the space yet. But when it warms up again, we're ready.

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