We hosted a little birthday celebration for my mom yesterday.
As we were driving back from the beach in the morning my mind began to wander as to what needed to be done once I got home to prepare for the party. Bake a strawberry rhubarb cobbler, clean the bathroom, marinate the chicken and asparagus for the grill, make a few flower arrangements…..
I wanted to be able to entertain mostly outdoors since it was going to be a warm evening but I began to get into a funk as I thought about our back porch which is looking a bit run down (plans to rebuild it next month!) and the fact that we needed new outdoor furniture and that I wished there was some money in the budget for some new plants and …… you get the point.
I stopped myself and said “Amy you can do this. You can get creative and make a beautiful outdoor experience with what you have. I know you can!”
After the car was unpacked and a visit to the market I got to work.
I swept the patio and porch clean (what a difference a clean swept space makes!) and unearthed the patio umbrella from the garage. I brought out a woven rug and laid it out on the porch. To serve hors d’oeuvres, I set up my antique ironing board with a pretty cloth napkin and glass jars filled with stems of Solomons Seal and Honeysuckle. I placed a piece of large flagstone on top of a clay crock and one on top of the stand that holds our fire pit to make little tables to set food and drinks on. I used a basket tray to place on top of one the tables for a homey feel and set out a bouquet of flowers and a votive. Instead of buying flowers, I made arrangements from my own garden of Lambs Ear, Catmint, Hosta leaves, Enonymous and Comfrey. I got out the birthday flags and stuck them in arrangements and planters and set out a chalkboard wishing my mom a Happy Birthday when she arrived.
When I was finished I stepped back and fell in love with the cozy outdoor party space made entirely with things found around my home and garden. Later that night as I was blowing out candles and cleaning glasses off of my makeshift tables I realized I hadn’t noticed all night how run down the porch was. I sort of like it now.