Wake Up the Porch & Decks for Spring

Welcome to the 168th Metamorphosis Monday!

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring: Cleaning and Planting

At the start of this past winter, I decided to try something new.  Instead of tossing the big geranium that lives all summer on the porch, and the three smaller ones visible behind this summer table setting below, I tucked them all away in my garage for the winter.

Summer table setting on the deck

Amazingly, they lived.  They only needed watering a few times all winter.  I placed them near the windows in the garage so they got a little light, although it wasn’t much.  We had a very mild winter here this year, so I’m sure that helped them to winter over.  About a week ago, I brought all the geraniums back out onto the deck.  I placed the three smaller ones back in their stand under the window.  We’ll call this our “before” pic for this post.

Before:

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

As you can see in this photo below, they looked skimpy and pretty leggy.  They were beginning to show some new growth, but obviously it was going to take quite a while for them to fill back out.  I came inside, Googled and read a bit about wintering over geraniums.  The info I found online said, yes, you can winter-over geraniums, but they never look that great again and they don’t bloom as much either.  The article recommended just buying new geraniums each year since they are relatively inexpensive.   Ummm.  Guess I should have Googled this topic before I wintered them over.  After reading that info online, I decided to just purchase some new flowers, mainly because I’m concerned I’ll water them faithfully all summer and never see many blooms.  I really like blooms and lots of pretty color!

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring: Flowers

So I took all of last year’s geraniums and transplanted them into other pots scattered around here on the deck.  I couldn’t bare to just toss them since they had been kind enough to go along with my scheme and had hung in there all winter.

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

Here are some of the “wintered-over” geraniums, after I transplanted them.

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

I also transplanted some into this pot that’s been on the deck all winter.  Amazingly, the Creeping Jenny I had transplanted from other pots at the start of last summer, survived the winter in this little pot.  You can see a bit of it coming back on the front right corner.

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

Here’s where I transplanted the last of the wintered-over geraniums.  One is actually blooming.  It will be interesting to watch them this summer to see if they live up to their online reputation and fail to produce lots of blooms.  I’ll be feeding them, so we’ll see how it goes.

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

I purchased a large pot of geraniums.   I could see it really contained three plants.  That was less expensive than buying three separate pots of geraniums. I placed them into the three pots here beneath the window.  I also purchased flowers for the large corner pots.

Before I show you how it looks for this year, here’s a photo of how it looked back in early spring of 2009.  (Sorry about the blurry photo.)  I keep trying different things in the large corner pots.  The year this pic was taken, I had planted tomatoes in them.

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

In Spring 2010, I tried a climbing plant in each of the big pots.  I’ve totally forgotten what it was…anyone recognize it?  You can’t see them very well, but there are geraniums in the three pots under the window.  I always use geraniums in this area because it gets really hot and they do pretty well.  Plus, I just like ‘em.  Update: Thanks Carol and Carolyn for identifying the climbing plants as Mandevilla.  That rings a bell now…thanks for the help!

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

After:
So here’s how it looks this year.  I should have put the cushions in the chairs for the photo.  This year I planted yellow hibiscus in the large corner pots.  I have one bloom so far, see it there on the right.  The yellow should be pretty with the new pink geraniums in the smaller pots in the center.

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

I’m praying Mr. Squirrel doesn’t steal all the leaves from the hibiscus like he has done in past years when I had hibiscus in the tall urns on the other deck with the pergola.

Here’s how the hibiscus looked that year after Mr. ravenous squirrel snuck up onto the deck and took the leaves, one by one.  In an attempt to save them, I transplanted them into the corner pots that year.   They never recovered, though.

Hibiscus squirrel damage

So, this year I’m starting them out over here and keeping my fingers crossed.

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

Notice how the smaller pots holding the geraniums have gotten all whitish and crusty looking over the years.  I love that!

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

This was the fun part of my deck and porch metamorphosis for this weekend.  The rest of the metamorphosis just involved a lot of cleaning!  I vacuumed and mopped up the pollen on the porch.  It’s a little early so I’ll probably have to do that at least once more this season.  I washed off the dirt from the outdoor speakers, ledges and the skinny molding that runs around the porch.

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

I took down the “Summer Breeze” sign and gave it a good cleaning.  I also cleaned off the blades of the ceiling fans so when I turned them on, they wouldn’t rain down pollen everywhere.  I’m hoping the worst of the pollen is gone since most of the  trees seemed to have finished blooming/leafing out.

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

The hutch on the porch got a good cleaning, too.  I’m going to replace this lamp this year, I think.  I’ll be hitting the thrift shops in search of something lighter and more summery.

Dish Storage on the Porch

My St. Patrick’s Day shamrocks are still alive and blooming, which is a miracle!  I am terrible at keeping indoor plants watered and thriving but I’ve made an effort with these.  So far, so good.

Seating Group with Swing on the Porch

I always fill this large pot here on the chair with red geraniums.  I move the pot outdoors regularly during the summer so it gets plenty of sun, but I really love having them here on the porch throughout the summer.  A shabby, old, painted chair makes a great plant stand for a large pot of flowers.

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

The knock-out roses on the other deck are doing well.  I’m amazed they don’t die during the winter, but so far they are hanging in there.  This pic is from last year.

Deck with Pergola and Outdoor Chandelier

I didn’t keep them watered as I should have earlier in the spring…it got hot here quickly this year!  So they lost a few leaves but they seem to be recovering nicely.  The Creeping Jenny planted at the base of the roses always winters over and it’s coming back beautifully this year.

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

Occasionally, I steal some of it to use in table settings on the porch.  It paired nicely with roses and daisies back in September 2010 for this table setting with Copeland Spode Tower.

Dining on the Porch

I gave the bottle tree a little bath, too.  It hasn’t “grown” since last summer.

Bottle Tree

In fact, it lost two bottles to this Seaside craft project earlier in the spring.  That definitely didn’t help with the “growing” part.

Seaside Beach Craft with Bottles

I think I’ll give it a little “fertilizer: this summer so it will fill in all those empty spaces.  Look for a future update on the bottle tree. :)

Bottle Tree

Did you metamorphosis anything this spring?  Have you started potting/planting yet or is it still a bit too cold in your area?  I’m looking forward to all the Before and Afters for this Met Monday!

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Comments

  1. Debt Free Mommy says:

    Thank you SO much for this linkup party! I found a few weeks ago and I’ve met some really sweet ladies over at my blog through it. I can’t wait to read more of your blog and meet more of your friends. God bless! -Tabitha

  2. Pam - @diy Design Fanatic says:

    I love the little cozy area where your bistro table is Susan! So quaint! Would love to sit there. I put out geraniums this year on my deck…still working on it. I always loved geraniums when I lived in California as they were planted in many of my neighbors yards and grew very large. This past Friday and Saturday I made over my front porch. Thanks so much for hosting!

  3. Confessions of a Plate Addict says:

    Everything is looking pretty, Susan! I am adding a few spring touches myself! Have you tried Deer-Off for the squirrels? It keeps the bunnies from eating my flowers! I just keep some tucked behind a shrub and re-spray each time it rains. Hope you had a fabulous Easter!…hugs…Debbie

  4. Susan, Your porch is so lovely.That is on my future wish list.Your table setting is so pretty too. Thank you for hosting. Anne

  5. Hi Susan! Everything is looking so pretty and ready for Spring! Love your little porches and your decks! I’ve mentioned you in my post today and your wonderful dishes you keep in your hutch on your porch! :) Hope you had a wonderful Easter. be a sweetie, Shelia ;)

  6. Rosemary@villabarnes says:

    Your porch is so dreamy, and inviting. Thanks for hosting.

  7. Cristy @ menemini says:

    {Patiently awaiting…}We don’t quite have weather for enjoying outdoor rooms, yet. Thank you for sharing your pretty porch pictures and throwing a lovely party, once again.

  8. Alderberry Hill says:

    Thanks so much for hosting…love your porch & tablescape, so spring like!

  9. Your porch looks beautiful already, even without blooming plants! I love geraniums, too, and really like the combination of the pink geraniums and the yellow of the hibiscus! Liz

  10. All your spaces are so inviting! I love them!! Put the tea on, I’ll be right over :) Have a wonderful week! Thanks for the party!! xox

  11. How to Nest for Less says:

    THanks so much for hosting again! Your porch looks beautiful with all the fresh plants!!

  12. Kathy A Delightsome Life says:

    I think they will be fine – perhaps if you cut them back a bit – they’ll bush out and feed them. I over-wintered geraniums and look forward to their blooms – I have seen a number of very old geraniums that look great – also, you can take cuttings from them to start new plants – you get the blooms you love and save! Thanks for being a gracious hostess – have a great week, Kathy

  13. Steph :) says:

    How funny-I came to link up my little excitement with propagating geraniums and here is this post of yours!!!! Please look at mine (#58) if you have a chance! Thanks for hosting. XO, Steph.

  14. Mary Jo says:

    I’ve been bringing my geraniums inside from my front porch (that faces north) every winter. I cut them way back, and put them in front of a west facing window. They grow so much I have to trim them back again in the spring before I put them back on the front porch! They bloom like crazy every summer, and this is the 5th year for these geraniums. I love your porches, on cloudy winter days I come to your blog to look at all your photos to lift my spirits!

  15. Jessica says:

    Wow! Your porch is like straight out of a home magazine! Very Beautiful! -Jessica

  16. Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) says:

    Hi Susan, I had the most beautiful red geranium on my deck last summer–the best one I ever grew. It attracted numerous visits from hummingbirds. So this fall I could not bear to dump it, and put it in the master bath to winter over. It’s gotten a bit leggy, but I’m still hoping it will recover when it goes outside again. (We are still in frost danger at night, so it is inside.) I can’t wait to see your bottle tree update! I saw a bottle garden late last summer, in VT, and thought of you! Linda

  17. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    Lovely, Susan! Well, at least you tried and who knows, maybe you’ll luck out and they will flower and get nice and full. I love seeing your little table. I have one, too, and it’s about all we can fit here at the condo now. My hubby is not much for eating outside anyway, but I’m hoping he’ll at least sit out there with me and enjoy a glass of wine at night.

  18. dee dee says:

    Susan, Your porch and deck are always beautiful! I will look forward to seeing if the flowers bloom this year! Thank you for hosting this wonderful party each week! dee dee

  19. Tanya@takesix says:

    You have inspired me to clean off the deck and “set up” out there for the new season! Love it!

  20. Mama Zen says:

    Your porch and deck are so gorgeous!

  21. Karah @ thespacebetweenblog says:

    Thank you so much for hosting Susan! I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend. :) Karah

  22. Susan, you porches look like the perfect retreat. I lost all of my geraniums last summer. They just couldn’t survive the onslaught of heat day after day. A shame because i love geraniums. Not sure if I’m going to try them again this year. Weather here is glorious. It’s been perfect for dining alfresco on the terrace both in the morning and the evening. In fact, we served Easter dinner on the terrace last night. My favorite time of year! ~ Sarah

  23. Your Spring spruce-up is looking lovely Susan! enJOYed checking out some other spring posts like #2 (great use of space!), #6 (Pam’s pops of color!) and #81 (always my fave: B&W!) Thanks for hosting – Happy Spring! xo Lynda

  24. Susan, your porch and decks look lovely. You are way ahead of us regarding weather. After we have had a summer out of newly bought geraniums, I cut them right back and put them in pots in the garage as you did and water them about once a month. I then plant them in the garden when weather permits and although they do not produce as many flowers as they did the summer before in pots, they still flower and provide a nice dash of red amongst other flowers.

  25. Jennifer @ Town and Country Living says:

    Wow, you’ve been busy! I love geraniums on a porch, but unfortunately, we have so many trees we don’t get a lot of sun in the yard … so I plant a ton of impatiens instead. Cute squirrel! And I want to sit on your porch swing and drink some lemonade. :)

  26. Scribbler says:

    We have wintered over geraniums with varying degrees of success. They actually did much better when we lived in DFW than here in Alabama. Thanks for hosting.

  27. Susan thank you so much for hosting. Your porch looks beautiful and ready for spring!

  28. Stacy Curran says:

    GREAT linnks!! Thank you for hosting! Stacy

  29. If Mr. Squirrel gets to them again, I think arborvitaes would look great in these pots.

  30. Susan, love your porch & deck! I believe your mystery plants from 2010 are Mandevilla Plants. Hope you had a wonderful Easter. Carol

  31. Calypso In The Country says:

    Thanks for hosting again. I always enjoy looking at your porch! It’s already so springy! -Shelley

  32. Tammy @BeatriceBanks says:

    Thanks for hosting! I love your deck and all of your plantings. So pretty! I have the same problem with the squirrels. They are so cute but they sure can destroy a garden!

  33. I’ve never tried geraniums, but they are so lovely that I think I’ll hint about one for Mother’s Day! Thanks for hosting with all your usual and lovely grace and style. :-)

  34. Chubby Chieque says:

    You are absolutely ready to rock this Spring, Susan. I remember this post awhile ago. I like the cozy corner with your romantic settings. Fancy! Happy MET Day. Greetings from a freezing Stockholm, /chie

  35. Oh boy, Mr. Linky is giving me a headache again & not allowing me to upload a photo, but the link is there at least. I always enjoy your posts & your parties, & love it when I have something to share. Thank you so much for hosting, Susan! CAS

  36. Hi Susan Loved seeing your beautiful porch again! You are too clever! Will you share with us how you did the ‘word cloud’ for Mr. Squirrel? I have some funny photos that I’d love to ‘doctor up’ with comments too! LOL. Thanks…a devoted fan!

  37. Carolyn Price says:

    I think the flowers pictured in the corner pots a previous year are pink mandevilla, Susan. Lovely … as usual! : ) (Might be spelled: mandavilla.) C.

  38. Kerry Rossow says:

    Holy relaxing! I want to read a book and drink coffee in your sunroom! Thank you so much for hosting! Kerry at HouseTalkN

  39. Hey Susan, Your outside spaces look wonderful! I winter over lots of plants in the garage and usually have good success. I have a red bush type mandavilla that has been with me for 3 years and 2 white climbing species (like your pink ones) from last year that are doing great. You can certainly save your hibiscus in the garage this winter if you want to. Cut them way back and water them one or twice…they should be fine. I don’t like to bring plants into the house as they always have bugs, yuck, lol. Try diluted tabasco in a spray bottle to keep Mr. Squirrel at bay. They make me crazy…last year they tore off all of my camellia blooms, grrrrrr. I love your blog and have BNOTP pinned on my “Favoriate Blogs” board in pinterest! Vikki in VA.

  40. Kristin says:

    Now THAT is how a house is supposed to look and feel in the Spring! Gorgeous!! Kristin Just Wanna Party

  41. Jana@Transformations From the Heart says:

    Every time you post a photo of your porch area I’m always in awe. It looks so lovely and inviting all the time! Thanks for hosting again~

  42. Cyndi ✪ Blue Star says:

    Susan, love your geraniums! You’re going to have a beautiful porch this summer! Thanks for hosting this week!

  43. chelterhamroad says:

    Your porch looks so inviting. New here, just found you via Maple and Magnolia. Thank you for the party. David

  44. Catherine {Stone and Rose} says:

    Thank you so much for hosting, Susan! Your porch looks great and I love that bottle tree!! Have a great week.

  45. Shirley @ Housepitality Designs says:

    I love seeing your porches…I am spending most of my day today cleaning one of my porches from the awful pollen…I believe it is the end of it, so I can feel comfortable moving forward with the “pretties”….I so love geraniums…especially because the deer hate them!… You always present the most gorgeous porches!

  46. Shirley @ Housepitality Designs says:

    I don’t do anything to my geraniums over the winter. I just stick them in a south facing window and water them when it occurs to me. They go outside and take a few weeks to pick up, but then they’re great.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I am drooling. Where did you purchase that bottle tree?

  48. Claudia says:

    I have a question, I hope you will find time to answer. My husband and I first saw bottle trees at Quigley’s Castle in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Your’s is very lovely, I was wondering where to buy the frame for the bottles as I would love to have one in our backyard. Mrs. Quigley build her’s with rocks and I don’t really want to do that.

  49. Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads says:

    Susan, you are so industrious by getting things cleaned on your porch and decks! I’ve been putting off that kind of cleaning until the pollen passes. I really like those Knock-Out trees that you have on your deck. I’m going to look for one of those because I have a sunny deck that needs a little something. I didn’t link up anything this week. I have been metamorphosing some items, but I can’t show them yet on my blog because they are for a subscriber. It’s a long story which I’ll post about-after the fact!

  50. Rettabug says:

    Gosh, I LOVE that first photo, Susan!!! I’ve only been successful ONCE in wintering over my geraniums in the sunroom but it worked great that one time. We usually go to FL & thus, didn’t want to bother someone to water them while we were away. I hope yours do well for you. Have you considered using a Hav-A-Heart trap to get rid of that pesky squirrel? He is too fond of your porch! You could take him far, far away & let him out. Just don’t capture a skunk like DH did last summer! 2011/10/pepe-le-pew-other-stinky-happenings.html It is rare that I have something I’ve painted so that I can join in MM, but this time, I did! Thanks for hosting it each week. I get lots of ideas…I just don’t DO any of them. LOL HUGS, Rett p.s. Hope you had a nice Easter.

  51. Katherine C says:

    Visiting your blog always makes me smile. What a wonderful little patio area. What time shall we have tea :-) xo p.s. leaving a comment from my other blog today.

  52. Erin@TheSavvySeeker says:

    Love the bottle tree! I may have to make one for my own garden! Thanks for sharing!

  53. Cottage and Broome says:

    I tried to over winter geraniums once and I agree it was easier to go buy new ones! Thanks for hosting again this week, Laura

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