I hear most everyone else is sweltering this summer. La Nina winters seem to mean cool and crappy (i.e. wet) summers in the Pacific Northwest. We haven’t had too many above 80 degree days which is a bummer, but I guess if the alternative is record high heat and humidity it doesn’t seem so bad. Despite the farce of a summer we are having, we’ve still had a few chances to enjoy our newly furnished balcony.
If your apartment or house has french doors (or in our case french door) you can still enjoy a relatively bug free summer without resorting to keeping the doors closed. I discovered bug-off screens a couple of years ago when I was living in an apartment that had french doors on the balcony. I loved having the doors open but hated chasing bugs around the house afterwards.
The screens hang from a tension rod and velcro to the door jam. The screen is split down the middle (or on one side if you have 2 french doors) with magnetic closures. Its quite effective. Cassanova has even mastered how to open the screen himself. Cheese, however, has not and sits inside meowing at Cass while he basks in the sun.
Immediately when you come out is a small container garden. Our garden is much scaled back from a couple summers ago. We have a weekly CSA veggie and fruit box so we just planted a lettuce bowl and sun gold cherry tomato plant. The green stand is really just an upturned pot from Lowes. We also have an ample supply of lavender and dahlias (in the railing boxes)- my two favorite flowers.
You can really pack a lot of lettuce in a bowl like this. There are no less than 5 different types of lettuce in here. We like to trim and eat, rather than grow it all and harvest it at once.
When Matt first moved into our townhouse his grill took up most of the space on the ground floor patio (just beneath the balcony). We knew we wouldn’t be able to fit it up on the balcony and decided to replace it with a more space friendly version. We love theChar-Broil Quantum Infrared Urban Grill. This thing isn’t huge, the side tables fold down and it is easily moved around the balcony as needed.
At the far (ha! like anything on this balcony is “far”) is seating for two. We found these Ciudad armless chairs at Pier 1 (now sold out).
Stacked to the side of the lavender are two plastic end tables- classy I know. I can’t seem to throw these out because we often put them in front of the chairs and use them for dinner outside.
After a couple of dinners out here we decided that the chairs were too deep and needed some back support so we picked up 2 pillows from Pier 1. The mosaic table in the corner is also from Pier 1. We have a Pier 1 in walking distance and prior to this summer hadn’t stepped foot in it. I think we’ve more than made up for lost time!
I love gnomes. They creep Matt out but I adore them. Matt finally gave in and let my little buddies chill with us outside. This one is my favorite just a little hippy, peace, love, and happiness guy.
Over by the tomato plant you can find two gnomes who happen to be Purdue Boilermaker fans. Woot! Go Boilers!
I’m so glad that we’ve been able to enjoy a couple of evenings on the balcony with the gnomes. While it hasn’t been much of a summer, evenings like these just make it all better.
Are you getting much use of your outdoor space this summer?