Saturday, May 31, 2008

Grandma's Porch

I haven’t written anything for awhile as outdoor activities have taken me away from the computer. I’ve been busy mowing, planting and just maintaining the garden, yard and flowers. As I have been working outside and planting flowers, and then beginning to see the results of my labors as my flowers bloom I am reminded of one of my favorite childhood memories.

My Grandmother Horack (my Dad's mother) had a small house with a front porch that faced the east. She had a porch swing which was strategically located so that we could use our feet to push off the porch railing and swing really high. We would spend hours out there swinging, drinking Pepsi, and eating Oreo cookies. We would listen to the conversations when her neighbors, Mrs. Martini and Mrs. Lowry would come out in the cool of the evening and sit on her porch with her and visit. I don’t remember what the grownups talked about, but I do remember the Pepsi, Oreo’s, and Grandma’s flowers. Grandma grew beautiful flowers, all kinds all over her yard. Peony’s with blossoms as big as dinner plates that she would cut early, keep in the refrigerator and use to decorate the graves on Memorial Day, (that is a whole other story). She had hollyhocks in the back yard so tall I had to look up to see the top. But the one I remember as really standing out was the beautiful “Pauls Scarlet” climbing rose that grew up the trellis at the south end of her porch. It grew up from the ground to the roof of the porch which meant it shaded the entire porch. In among this curtain of red roses, unnoticed until they bloomed, were the deep dark purple blooms of a Clematis vine; a striking combination. As a very young child, I thought my Grandma was truly wonderful to have such a pretty bush that would bloom two different kinds of flowers.
I don’t have a “porch” per say, we have a deck. I’ve been planting flowers, filling pots with plants of wave petunias, verbenia, pots full of impatience, and begonias that later this summer will spill blossoms over onto my deck and make me feel as if I am sitting in a garden, when in actuality I am sitting on a deck in the middle of a pasture. Our deck is an “outdoor room”. It is covered with a pergola that has wisteria growing over the top. This year it bloomed for the first time, long fragrant lavender blooms that attracted hummingbirds, and bumble bees.
Springtime was, quite literally, right out our back door. Roger loved it, and the smell was better than anything you will ever find in a bottle. I have Clematis too, growing up the trellis in the middle and on each end of the deck, and they are beautiful when they are full of blooms.
Like my Grandma's porch it is a wonderful place to sit, and chat, or in the mornings, a quiet place to take your coffee and go sit and watch the sun come up. We have a table and chairs out there, so if you feel like filling your plate and going out there to eat, that is good too.
It is a gathering place of sorts. I find people gathering there when I have a house full of guests. They take their drinks and migrate to the comfortable seating outside surrounded by the flowers and canopied with the green of the vines. I find the same kind of contentment sitting in my "garden room" as I did swinging on Grandma's porch.
Nothing tells winter goodbye like brightly colored flowers, the smell of new mown grass, and a tall glass of iced tea while you sit on the "porch".