Sunday, August 8, 2021

My New Screened-In Porch and a Video Walk Through of My Vegetable Garden

I am so excited to show you my finished screened-in porch!  It has been a project that has taken a long time to finish!  The deck and roof were added to the house not too long after we moved in, but last year we decided to screen it in.  I had to really push my hubby to screen in this porch because he did not want a screened-in porch.  He thought they looked ugly from the outside and obscured the view from the inside.  But I really wanted a bug-free environment plus I was sick and tired of having feral cats and other critters getting on the porch and making a mess.  So I said to him "This porch is on the back side of the house, so no one will see it.  It's not like those houses where they screen in the front porch, those are ugly.  Plus, we have four porches on this house, why can't we screen-in just one of them?"  We really do have four porches!  Every side of the house has an open porch.  

So, hubby finally relented, and screened in my porch for me, and guess what?  He LOVES IT and thinks it's one of the best home improvement decisions we ever made.  Oh, why didn't he just listen to me sooner?  Doesn't he know I always know what is best for our home? 😁

The screened-in porch was finished last year when we finished creating our first vegetable garden.  I didn't take any "before and after" pictures, but you can see a couple of pictures on these posts HERE  and  HERE.

The construction took so long, that I did not have time to paint and decorate the porch till the following spring;  and then it took me a LONG time to paint it. The ceiling paint was flaking like crazy, so I had to first remove all the old paint before I could put on a fresh coat of paint.  That was not easy.  Then painting all the wood work, plus the floor took a long time as addition to spring gardening you can imagine how busy I was.  I think I finished just a few weeks before my kids and grandkids came for a week long visit in July.  And it was perfect timing, because we lived on this porch while they were here.

Well, let's begin the tour shall we?  My house is built into a hill, so the basement and sunroom is at ground level.  This porch is on the south side of the house and can be accessed from the sunroom, front, and western part of the yard.  This corner is the first thing you see when you step outside from the sunroom.

I placed the largest rocking chair and footstool in this corner, plus an end table.  I added a shade loving plant to the table and hung a candelabra from the ceiling.

This is the view if you were just stepping onto the porch from inside the sunroom.  The vegetable garden is both directly in front of the screened-in porch and to the left in front of the sunroom windows.

I chose to paint the floor back for a variety of reasons.  Number 1, it's a super trendy color right now.  Number 2, the floor was previously painted red so I needed a dark color to go over it.  And Number 3, it's a nice contrast color to the red and white already on the house and trim.

The black paint does show a lot of dirt and gets scuffed up easily, but any dark color on a deck will do that.  I just sweep and mop regularly.

In the far left corner I have a large hibiscus bush.  This bush is inside the sunroom in the winter,  I bring it outside every summer.  It could really use more sun than this, but every time I put it in my yard, the deer eat it down to nothing, so it's safer inside the porch.

This is the view looking down the post to the west.  This is the seating area we use the most as it seats at least four people.

The view from the main seating area.

When my husband came up with the idea of creating a vegetable garden right off our porch, I knew it had to be pretty because I would always be looking at it!  So I hung lots of flowering plants and decorations like the stained glass butterfly.

The screened-in porch also accesses our above-ground basement.  And old green wreath hangs on the ancient door.  The house is built of brick and has a field stone foundation.

The best part of above-ground basements is that you have natural light.  I love this big picture window!

This seating arrangement has two chairs with a large coffee table in between.   An outdoor rug grounds the area together.  I hung another decorative candelabra above the coffee table.  This one was a decoration in my daughter's wedding.  It should be noted that I only purchased two decorative elements to complete my porch.  I used a lot of items I already had from other areas of my house.

The clock on the wall is an outside clock, but I'm not sure if it's broken or just needs a new battery.  I replaced the battery once this season already, but it stopped working again.  Ugh!

I hung three macrame hanging baskets inside the porch, plus I added this cute wicker plant stand.

In the far western corner of my porch is a potting bench.  This was handmade by my husband for me as part of my Mother's Day gift.  He used all recycled materials to make it.  I was so excited!  This potting bench has been such a help for me for my yard is built on a hill.  I have a "Potting Shed" (the red building you often see in my flower garden pictures)  in the lowest portion of my yard to hold all my tools and such, but it is a real pain walking all the way down there every time I need something to work in the vegetable or upper flower gardens.  So I was keeping a lot of "junk" in this corner (like duplicate tools, totes, pots, soils) and it was very unsightly.  Hubby decided to clean this corner up by make this bench for me.

The potting bench is both decorative and practical.  I keep all my "pretty" pots on the shelves, plus a few decorations.  I only purchased two decorative items (the "farm" tins), everything else I already owned.

The shelves below the counter hold more practical things like bushel baskets for harvesting vegetable and galvanized tins for holding potting soil.

The counter was the only part of the bench that my husband had to buy, and it's not a counter at all.  It's a steel door that he found in the "scratch and dent" section of a home improvement store for $20.  It works perfect as a counter because it is super strong and wipes clean so easily.

I found both of the "farm" tins at Hobby Lobby for 50% off.  I love the "Farm House" caddy to hold my garden tools.

This corner has a nice view of my western flower garden.  I hung two house plants inside the window in macrame hangers.  I love the light this corner gets in the afternoon.

The western corner in front of the potting bench has two screened doors.  The one directly in front leads to the vegetable garden.  The door on the right leads to the front of the house.  If your wondering why there is an old milk can in this corner, it's to keep our cat Jackson from scratching at the doors to get out.

Speaking of Jackson, he is allowed on the screened porch and in the enclosed vegetable garden, but we don't let him into the yard because there are too many feral cats and other dangerous animals around that could hurt him.  I love him too much to lose him.

This view is looking down the porch, the opposite way.

The porch ceiling is bead board.

I can not even begin to tell you how much we love this porch and how much more we use it now that it is screened-in.  I love to sit in the chairs, with a cup of coffee in my hand, and just look at all the beautiful flowers and hear the birds singing.

Jackson loves it too of course!  He was never allowed outside at all until we built the screen-in porch and enclosed vegetable garden.  He looks forward to going outside every morning.  He loves to be in the garden with me.  If I'm outside, he's outside with me.  He is always by side.

I picked up this stained glass butterfly years ago.  I tried it in the garden, but the wind would always tangle it up.  It works nicely on the porch, where there isn't much wind.

And now I'd like to show you a few pictures of my vegetable garden.  My best friend dropped by for a visit and she took these pictures.  Everything has almost doubled in size since you saw it last in THIS POST,  In the picture below, I am holding my broccoli heads that I just picked.

And here are my tomato plants!  In my last post I think they were only half way up this fence, now they are almost to the top; and this fence is 8 feet tall!

My squash has gone absolutely crazy.  It's actually very frustrating because it has taken over this garden and is suffocating other plants.  I think my husband and I figured out a solution for next year;  although, I may not get any peppers this year.

And finally, here is a eleven minute video of me walking through the entire vegetable garden.  Enjoy!

 Have A Great Day!  Amy

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  1. I've always admired your beautiful home and gardens, I can imagine it being featured in a home and garden magazine!
    Your screened in porch turned out so nicely too! My husband has recently been talking about wanting a screened in porch and I'm not so sure because of the same concerns your husband had. Glad to hear he is loving it too! And it's so nice that Jackson can spend some time outdoors too now on this porch and the fenced in garden!

    I'd love this kind of a fence around my garden so I can get rid of my tomato cages!! And it looks so perfect for the cucumbers too! Please do tell what exactly he used to build the garden fence.

    1. You are just too kind and sweet. The garden fence are 2 x 4 notched at corners to connect them. They are meant to come down during the winter, so brackets connect them to each other. Welded Wire was used for the fence itself. He used poultry staples to staple the wire to the 2 x 4 frame. I've seen this same idea used without a full enclosure (it's actually where I got the idea from in the first place). The gardener just made one frame (but hers had long beams at the end to drive into the ground) and stuck it into the ground along one edge of her tomato garden. Or, you can keep it really simple and just use this heavy metal green garden stakes and attach the welded wire to it, like in this example

    2. Thank you so much for the info! I told hubby that next year I will be needing them. It will be so helpful!

  2. I just love your screened in porch! We used to have one in the back of our house on our old house and I just loved it; we got so much use out of it. So glad your husband finally listened to you.

  3. Gosh Amy. What an amazing area and it looks so open and airy (not like many screened porches I see). I think maybe because it's so long thay it doesn't seem as closed in.
    And your garden? Wowza. You really have a way with plants!!
    Ps. All husbands are like that, LOL!

    1. Thank you Jodie. I think you're right, it's probably because of the length, but all the greenery in the veggie garden helps too.

  4. What a beautiful place to sit and enjoy all your flowers and plants!

  5. Our squash and tomatoes have gone insane also. just think go UP..with the squash. Lovely garden and a gorgeous porch, you must spend lots of time out there, even when it's hot!
    Sandi from Spread Kindness!

    1. It must be a good year for them! I do have a lot of the squash growing up on the fence already, but perhaps I could have guided more vines up. I think it's too late now as they are already a rooted/tangled mess. Thanks so much!

  6. It looks amazing! A screened in porch would be a dream of mine, I have always wanted one but we always buy a house without one. Bugs here are a pain in the summer so it is always 3-4 month when we don't enjoy our patios so much.

    1. Thank you! You will have to add one to your house. It's not that difficult, especially if there already is a deck and porch roof.

  7. What a beautiful home place you've created! I would spend every waking minute there! Jackson sure has it made!

    1. Thank you! I do spend a lot of time there now. I did not before.

  8. Amy, your screened in porch and garden is simply gorgeous! We will be moving to NC sometime in September. I’m so looking forward to getting into gardening again. I will be using your blog for inspiration.


    1. That's exciting. You will love NC. It's such a beautiful state with a great climate.

  9. Love the screened porch! Your garden is fabulous! My tomatoes are huge too! :-)

    1. Thank you! I think the tomatoes enjoyed the hot weather we got this summer. We don't normally have hot weather.

  10. Amy, your porch is absolutely stunning! Yes, husband should have listened to you because you clearly do know what is best for your home! Haha. I agree that screens on porches can look rather shoddy sometimes, but the practicality of a bug free outdoor space far outweighs that, in my opinion! The bugs love me and all too often ruin my outdoor enjoyment so I would love a screened in space to better enjoy the outdoors! Thanks for sharing these lovely images!


    1. thanks so much Shelbee! I love it and we spend so much on the porch now and we never sat out there before.

  11. Wow ! Lovely Garden , I really admire our beautiful hanging pots . Thanks for sharing with Garden Affair.


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