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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Falling for Mums

I read somewhere once that aside from your bathroom, your front door and it's surrounding area is the only place that guests really get the time to really look around without you knowing it. I think I read this when we were newlyweds and only had an old plastic trick or treat pumpkin from my childhood for fall decorations. Oh the shame of it. Looking back on it, I bet the neighbors thought we were really cute, with our shabby pumpkin and our sad attempts at landscaping in, what was for us, foreign territory (Oklahoma--where I was able to keep alive Tumbleweeds, a Trumpet Vine, and a Ficus tree that I still have.)

It is true, though. You've got nothing else to do once you've knocked or rung the doorbell. It gives you time to notice a lot. It also is the first feeling that you get from a home, that first impression, and whether or not it's a welcoming place.

We're front porch people. We love to hang out on the front porch and chat with the neighbors while Young One rides his bike or plays with the other kids. We're so fortunate to have such wonderful neighbors. They're like having really great extended family members that live close by. I like to hang out on the front porch. If it's nice out, I'll take a book or a magazine, but more than anything, I just like to sit on the rocker and watch the world. It's a great place to pause a little and just enjoy some sunshine.

I love to decorate my front porch. Nothing major, just some seasonal flowers and maybe a few doo dads. Sometimes I'll feature a quilt or a something decorative, but for the most part it's flowers (well, in the winter it's greens and winterberries!). This Spring I adored my Pansies. This summer, the Petunias were a bit lacking. Sorry, Petunia fans, but I've never been a real lover of them. They were an impulse buy at the garden center clearance event and were really sad and decrepit by the end of July.

Thankfully, the mums arrived in early September and as soon as school was back in session, I dashed to our garden center and wandered the aisles, kid free and enjoying some really fantastic alone time. The kales and ornamental cabbages were gorgeous and reminded me of the winter flower beds of Oklahoma. I was there for the mums, though. I usually buy a big bushel basket filled with mums, but this year, I decided I wanted to plant my own early enough to enjoy their growth (and to get rid of the sad Petunias). The four inch pots were just packed with buds, so for much less than my usual bushel basket, I was able to fill my window box and my two old washtubs that I keep on the front porch.

I think they're really beautiful this year. And because my baskets and other pots are still nice, they just add to what was already a great place to hang out.

You deserve a warm welcome home too. What are you doing with your front porch, front door, or entry way to make everyone welcome?

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