Wednesday, June 13, 2018

i'm dreaming of a new porch

After countless days of non-stop rain and cooler-than-normal temps, we're back to sunshine and 80 degrees today. To me, that is absolutely perfect weather. It's just for today, so I'm enjoying it as much as possible. We're back into the 90's this weekend.

I needed some more plants, so yesterday I was sloshing through the wet, muddy garden center and picked out this Boston fern for the front porch. I was carrying my plants to the car and a woman who was parked next to me commented how lovely the fern was. I replied, "Now if I only had one of those white houses with the long front, covered porch, where I could hang ferns all the way across!" She said, "Oh, yes! And a ceiling fan, too! And wicker furniture, of course." 

Side note: I came home with this new basket of flowers, too. They're replacing the basket of now-wilted pansies that were hanging here. I love the hot pink for summer.

Back to the porch. Here's the reality of the porch where the fern plant will be hanging. Our little front porch area is the original to the house, which is 30 years old. It not only looks terrible due to age and wear, but the steps from the sidewalk to the deck and the step up to the cement stoop are way too high. Everyone over the age of 50 that comes to our house complains about it. You'll notice our sidewalk is also leaning into the ground. 

To make the porch even worse-looking, Brian had to install a barrier last year to keep out the groundhogs that were burying underneath our deck. We were warned by the wildlife removal man that groundhogs dig deep tunnels and they could start digging under the foundation of our house. Don't worry about the groundhogs - they are wildlife protected here in Illinois. They are safely removed and relocated to a rural farm and woods at the far end of our county. 

Funny thing is about the barrier, there was nothing we could do in front of the sidewalk. So guess where more groundhogs started entering? I had a feeling that was going to happen.

Previously, the groundhogs had entered under the deck from the side.

We've had our contractor out for ideas and estimates. The problem is we want to do something to keep wildlife out from under the deck. The contractor wanted to put in a concrete slab where the little deck area is now, to make a small patio area. I have nixed that idea: with the concrete stoop up against the front door, plus having a cement patio on the side of our house, I don't want any more cement! I am now thinking of having a new deck made of composite wood and a step going all the way across in front. As for the side of the deck, I wonder if it's possible for them to put in some kind of solid wall using the composite wood material?

In the meantime, we're still working with the roofers and insurance company from the storm damage done to our roof a few weeks ago. That comes first. The new porch will be staying in my dreams for a little bit longer.


  1. I like your plants. The pink flowers are??? So pretty! I like to hang a simple fern on my back porch---sort of Pippi Longstocking!

    I think you have some good ideas for your front porch. I don't know much about groundhogs, but my next door neighbor at the lake has had them under his deck, too. The important thing is to find out their life span, because they tend to come back to the same place all the time. We had opossums under our shed for years (here in the city). I was told no matter how you rid yourself of them, they will come back and burrow even deeper. But...they have a life span of 2 years. For some reason they've been gone for the past 5 years. I was always worried about my dogs. The whole neighborhood was coming upon dead opossum. I think they were living on stuff in trash cans in the alley. But no more. Maybe people started to get wiser about their trash. We don't have an alley, so I think they just found a safe haven under our shed. Next door our neighbors always get litters of bunnies!

    Good luck. Have a good base/foundation for your deck.

    Jane x

  2. I have a stoop, so I am envious of your porch! But I would love a porch that wraps around my home. I'd put a swing out there with a blanket and sit all day. Ahh, dreaming is good for the soul. I hope you get your well-deserved new porch while the weather is still nice. :)

  3. I love a good porch! None here where I live now but maybe one day I'll have one again to enjoy. Pretty pink flowers!

  4. I like your idea of a new may have that porch yet!

  5. Sounds like a great plan. I love porches of any variety. Cement does get hot.


  7. I don't have a porch at all, just a stoop. I think your porch space is lovely. I know whatever you choose it will be pretty.

  8. My daughter and son in law built a house with a big wrap around front porch 15 years ago. I agree with you white wicker furniture and ferns hanging are so pretty. And just seem to fit in so well with a wrap around porch.

  9. I don't have a front porch and we have a back pool area but not a traditional porch. I have always wanted one with a swing of course.

  10. oh while you might want a new porch it looks attractive as is, and I've seen other areas of yours outdoors over the years that are wonderful. So until your dream comes true it still looks nice : )

    Meanwhile Mother Earth and Her Groundhogs love you :)

  11. I keep telling RH he shouldn't feed the groundhog!

    While reading this I realized that I'd read it before. I think something interrupted me before I could comment. You sure have a lot to deal with right now but I have a feeling that eventually you will figure this all out. I hope so.


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