Making the Deck More Comfy

If you live in a house, you might think my deck is small at 8.5 x 11.5 ft.  If you live in a condo or apartment, you might think that’s roomy.  Thank goodness it’s not any bigger or who knows how many furniture groupings I would have gone through!  I know I’ve had a couple of director’s chairs, then a bistro table and two chairs, and finally a big comfy chair.  I’m sure there was one other season of decor, but I can’t for the life of me recall what it was.

I was always trying to maximize the seating, but then realized I seldom entertain out there so why not make it super comfy just for me?  Sitting in a metal bistro chair to read a book and enjoy the sunshine does not hold much appeal.  Hence, the big comfy chair and ottoman.  A few years ago Target had the most reasonably priced chair I could find, so I overlooked the Florida hotel lobby print and drug it home.  You know where this is going…I could overlook Florida on my deck for only so long.  So this summer the outdoor space got a little fluffing up.
Before:
The loud print chair and not much else.
Nearly a blank canvass.
After:
Even Grace agrees it’s much better!
Looks like the ceiling fan could use a little touch-up now.

Please excuse the dilapidated tomato plant in the corner.  He’s not much of a looker, but I’m getting lots of tomatoes!  I know, you told me to put a cage on it from the get-go, and I did not, and now it’s been wrestled to the ground too many times by storms.  Lesson learned.

I replaced the Florida print cushions with new ones from Lowe’s.  I’m sure it was cheaper than having them reupholstered – I checked into that for living room furniture and was shocked at the cost – and I did not want to recover them myself again.  Did that once when the chair was inside and it was not my favorite project.  Bonus – the old cushions were donated to be used as dog beds.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!  I moved the kitchen rug outside for some coziness (it blended with the kitchen floor too much for my taste anyway).  The yellow pillow was in the closet waiting to be called up to somewhere, and I splurged on the metal garden stool (also from Lowe’s).

 

I added a couple of hanging baskets on either side to pretty it up a little.
I plan to do a lot more succulents next year.
My view tonight between chapters. I’m good with this.

So for a couple hundred dollars, the deck has taken on a whole new look.  She got a little up-do.  The big pay-off:  I spend a lot of time out there now.  And it’s a good thing I got that big comfy chair, because Grace has claimed 3/4 of it.  It’s nice to sit out there, snuggled with my dog, book, beverage.  You get the picture – more napping than reading.  A little piece of vacay right outside the door.

Cheers!
Kelly

Garden Update 1 – What a Difference a Month Makes!

I planted these guys on April 22 and they were pretty darn cute.

Sweet Basil then
Sweet Basil now

I have crazy basil!  It smells wonderful, and I’ve been eating grilled tomato, mozzarella and basil on multi-grain bread for a couple of weeks now.  Mmmm!  I’m totally down with that, but that’s all I’ve done with it so far.  Any ideas/recipes to enjoy the sweet basil outside of the fancy grilled cheese?

Haven’t picked any tomatoes yet, but take a look at the progress.
Husky Cherry Red Tomato then
Husky Cherry Red Tomato now
The Husky Cherry Red is growing wild too!  And, just this weekend….
My first tomato!

I don’t know why I’m so excited about growing these plants.  I’ve had house plants since high school.  Maybe it’s the idea of growing something I can eat.  To cross two items of my shopping list each week before I even leave the house.  Self-sufficiency.  That’s what excites me.  Well, with a little help from above with the whole sunlight thing and all.

So there you have it.  It’s not much, but it’s a little something and I like it.  Drop a comment with ideas for the basil.  If you’re local I’ll give you some!

Cheers!
Kelly

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Spring has finally sprung in NC, and let’s hope there are no take-backs this time. I’ve been in the mood to garden for years and really miss having that little patch of ground to throw seeds at. Way back in the day I grew tomatoes, corn, green beans, and cukes and did fairly well. Now that I own from the studs-in only – no dirt to speak of – I’m restricted to pot gardening out on the deck.

I did a little bit of that several years ago and got just a couple of tomatoes (literally, two tomatoes), and some Jurassic sized green bell peppers. No idea how I grew those peppers, but they were great!

So last night I planted a cherry tomato and a basil, said a little prayer, and am hoping for the best.

Sweet Basil
Cherry Tomato

I’m super impatient and cannot wait to see how these babies grow. What do you all use to fertilize your garden plants? The only thing in my cabinet at the moment is houseplant fertilizer, which I know I don’t want on my food producing plants. I’m probably not going to compost given the space/land issue, and am not likely to ever handle manure, so your suggestions for a safe fertilizer would be truly appreciated. Happy Spring!

Cheers!
Kelly