Friday, January 23, 2009

A Home & Garden Confession

Is anyone tired of winter yet? I know I am. Last year there was way too much snow. There's a little less of the white stuff this year but it seems extra cold. To complicate matters, one week ago the family was shivering through a 24-hour blackout triggered by a broken sprinkler system that flooded a local hydro station. It was so cold toward the end of the blackout that we could see our breath in the house! I tried really hard to make it all seem like an adventure but it simply put my longing for spring into overdrive. I'll take the stormiest, rainiest, soaked-to-the-bone spring day over this cold.

I found the rainy day picture above during my daily, therapeutic review of garden photos and it reminded me that I owe you all a confession. A while back I promised to share an embarrassing garden secret. There are so many how I killed a hydrangea one time. Oh, and that poor butterfly bush met with an unpleasant end too. I didn't do my mugo pine any favours by moving it. And my treatment of poinsettias post-Christmas season should really be considered a crime against the plant world. There is a lot of awful stuff...that my remaining plants haven't risen up in protest by refusing to bloom astonishes me (but then gardens are very forgiving aren't they?)

I could go on, but instead I direct your attention to the garden bench in the photo above. Six years ago, it was a wedding gift from close friends and ever since it has been the main bench in the backyard garden. It's very attractive, sturdy, and comfortable (most impressive for garden seating). But come October, I find myself in a bit of a pickle. The seating is too nice to leave outside over the winter. I have no garage to store it in. My garden shed is too small to accommodate it. And getting it into the basement would require taking out a wall.

(I'm leaving lots of space here to build some drama as you scroll down toward my storage solution...)

My solution would make Martha Stewart shudder.

My solution would require an Emergency Task Force response from the Style Police.

My solution would make me a priority candidate for any one of those home decorating shows like "How Not to Decorate Your Home."

My solution would have college students every where asking "I don't see what the problem is."

So here it is: my garden bench winter time storage solution.

Ladies and Gentleman...

....I present to you...

The Book Nook.

That's right. I confess. I use my garden bench as indoor furniture. It's in the bedroom right by a bay window so it gets great light. On the coldest, dreariest winter days, my daughter and I pull out a big, cozy comforter and read books here. Sometimes, we turn the bench around and just watch the traffic go by or play "I Spy."

Well, I won't be winning any home decorating awards for sure but this is a solution that works for me just fine. Another three months and the bench will be back in the garden where it belongs. The day I drag it out there is one of the happiest of the year. I'm feeling so much better now. Confession really is good for the soul. What's your home and garden secret?


GardenJoy4Me said...

My god you made me laugh here girl !! ... that was just too funny.
I saw how far that blackout reached in Toronto (I am in Kingston) and I shivered for you all during that time .. what a pain in the backside !
Hey .. it is alright to use garden furniture indoors .. keeps the garden sense alive in us : )
Roll on SPRING !!!!!

Northern Shade said...

I bet when you sit in it, you have some good garden dreams. It is in great shape considering it lives outside for most of the year. You wouldn't even know it had been outside by looking at it. Now if you had showed the hose reel being stored under the bed, I might have suggested a larger shed.
Happy spring thoughts.

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Nutty Gnome said...

It strikes me as jolly sensible to bring your seat inside for winter - better than letting it get all manky outside! It looks really good in your bay window - and what garden plans you can make over winter sitting there.
I really enjoyed finding and reading your blog - it's made me chauckle and brought sunshine into a dull, grey English day - thank you!

Connie said...

Your bench looks great, indoors and out! And I'm sure you are extending it's life considerably by bringing it inside. I have some old wicker furniture I purchased at a yard sale, but it is protected under the roof of our gazebo for the winter months.

EAL said...

The bench look great, and I think a lot of us are sick of winter this year. Big time.

Laura said...

I have been enjoying a read through your blog. I too have many garden sins. My big one this winter was leaving a beloved tool outside. I did not find it until the snow thawed. Hopefully spring comes quickly and we can let all of these burdens disappear with the entrance of our spring blooms!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

We brought in our big round garden table one year and it hasn't seen the light of day since. It sits in our kitchen to this day. Well I guess I shouldn't say that because if we have a big outdoor party we drag it back outside for the event then back in it goes.