Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Solstice Porch Party

It's a Porch Party!

Rhondi @ Rose Colored Glasses is again hosting her popular Porch Party to celebrate the first day of summer. Please, come in.

It's already hot here in Texas, so I thought we'd relax out in the sunroom. Originally this room was a screened in porch, but we added doors and windows with Phantom Screens in order to enjoy this space year round. We open it up when the weather is agreeable, but we can also heat and cool this space. It is where we spend much of our time reading and relaxing.

I've been reading LOVE AND OTHER IMPOSSIBLE PURSUITS. It's a great read, and I'll tell you all about this book at the next Food for Thought. I have a stack of beautiful books on Americana that I've been enjoying again this summer.

Have a spot here on the chaise; Uncle Sam is already here. I know it's still two weeks till we celebrate the 4th of July, but summer here at HFTS means we enjoy red, white, and blue and all things patriotic from June through August.

This space is the perfect spot for a few indoor plants . . .

And tabletops to display a bit of Americana.

Vintage post cards and a few Uncle Sam figures share this space.

I've filled the Nantucket baskets with fresh flowers.

Blue iris, white stock, and summer asters

The Uncle Sam figure is paper maché and was made by Carole Watts in 2002.

With the hot weather here in Texas, I thought you might like a glass of ice cold tea with fresh mint sprigs.

I made you a little something sweet. We have tangy lemon bars and rich chocolate brownie bites.

Fresh cherries are abundant in the summer, so as long as they are available we have a bowl full at the ready. Help yourself to a few of these sweet treats.

Would you like to take a stroll outside?

During the cooler months of spring and fall, we like to eat meals out here on the terrace.

There are lots of large old trees back here so this is mostly a shade garden.

The white hydrangea seems to like the conditions in this garden, though it's still a small plant.

We had a severe winter this past year, and little that was planted in these urns survived. I replanted them with geraniums, coleus, and a variety of ferns.

I planted a variety of white geraniums in some of the urns and beds. They must like the shade conditions because they are still blooming while the geraniums in sunny spots have all stopped producing blooms.

It's always calming to hear the sound of the fountains.

Oh, Mr. Rabbit wants me to remind you that this upcoming Saturday, June 26th, is the date of the 2010 Mad Hatter's Party @ A Fanciful Twist. Click on the button on my sidebar for all the details.

Thank you for stopping by today. Click here to go over to Rhondi's to see a list of others participating in the 2010 Summer Porch Party. Thank you, Rhondi!

This post will also be linked to the following weekly memes. Thank you to all who host these fun events this week.


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Very nice Sarah!
    You have such a great collection!
    And the porch and patio looks so inviting as do your pretty plants!
    So homey and charming too!

  2. Wow would I love to have some of those brownies and tea with you at that great table. Such a lovely space. And that bunny with the ivy is great. Just lovely.

  3. your porch is so colorful, with so many interesting things to look at, while I sip my tea.

  4. Sarah, I love all of your decorations on your porch, and I love your outdoor areas, too! You always have something wonderful to share!

    I got to the porch party late, and then I stupidly linked two things. LOL! Alas...

    Happy Porch Party!


    Sheila :-)

  5. Your porch and out door area are lovely and so nicely decorated!

  6. Sarah, I loved each photo in this post. Your porch with the Phantom screens is beautiful and looks like it would be such a wonderful place to relax. I'm glad to get to see a larger photo of the Uncle Sam AND he's sitting on yet another beautiful patriotic quilt. I'm in love with your bunny topiary! He is just the cutest thing. I also really like that pretty patriotic ribbon on your topiary by the door. And your fountain wall is gorgeous. I'm so glad to get to see these beautiful space inside and outside your home. laurie

  7. How wonderful! I love all your accents in the sun room and the terrace is gorgeous!


  8. Sarah, it is way too hot here too right now to be out there except for early morning or dark. I love your outdoor area with those wonderful huge urns and the fountains. First time I have seen your arched outdoor area. Isn't it nice to have a sunroom?

  9. Thanks for all of the wonderful food. We skipped our dessert tonight and you certainly made my mouth water! What delightful accessories you have. The paper mache Uncle Sam is so adorable. This is my first time at Porch Party. You did a lovely job. Nice to meet you.

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  11. Miss Sarah,

    Your sunroom is a dreamy all the Americana, it's so summery with all the red! Your back deck and terrace is so beautiful..I can imagine many wonderful evenings and cool mornings at your pretty table. Thanks for sharing...hope your trip to Santa Fe is as wonderful as mine was!

    Miss Bloomers

  12. I'd eat every meal outside in that garden - I love the round table, the fountain and the little rabbit. What a beautiful place!

  13. What beautiful pictures and displays and the food has my mouth watering. I looked at everything and then went back and looked some more..didn't want to miss any of this lovely post

  14. Sarah, so inviting! I adore outdoor (and screened porch) living in the summertime.

    I think you will like my giveaway!! Tell your friends!

    Art by Karena

  15. What a beautiful sun room you have, Sarah. It looks very relaxing and I like your Americana collection. You have a beautiful outdoor garden too!...Christine

  16. Wonderful sun room. Your plants are looking beautiful. Looks like your ready for the holiday and you've done a beautiful job decorating for the 4th. Everything is just perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Wow Sarah..another gorgeous gorgeous post!! So beautiful..I feel like I just had the most relaxing and charming tea on your porch..lovely!I love your urns and plants...gorgeous!
    have a most wonderful day!!

  18. Dear Sarah
    You have such a talent for finding and arranging beautiful things. Your porch is wonderful. I love the natural color wicker and all your Americana treasures. Having a porch that is enclosed but has screens is the perfect solution. It's very hot here right now, too hot to sit out for long, so our beautiful porch and deck don't get much use this time of year.
    Thanks for joining the party!
    Hugs, Rhondi

  19. Hi Sara, First I would love some refreshing Tea here in South Carolina. It is just as hot or hotter than Texas these days!!~ YOUr porch and gardens, and fountains are just beautiful! I could see the love and care you have for your grounds....thanks for sharing with us.

  20. What a lovely spot to read and relax. I like the quilt and your patriotic theme. It makes sense in the Texas heat that you would want to enclose that screened porch.

  21. Good morning! I love your porch, love the Americana...I can't seem to get enough of Americana. You have just the right details, and that quilt is amazing. I'm a quilt nut! Your place is just beautiful, inside and out. Love the Uncle Sam and the food. Wish I could stop by for a visit. It all looks wonderful. You must be a wonderful hostess as well.

  22. I ❤ your closed-in porch, Sarah. I'm sure it's used much more often than when it was open to the heat/cold.

    I'll have one of those lemon bars, thankyouverymuch.

    Happy Blue Monday.

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  24. Sarah: I've very much enjoyed my "visit" this morning. I will take a glass of that tea. Thank you very much! Somehow I did not realize that you live in Texas. We've lived there in one of many moves with the V.A. Medical Service. We both have happy memories of life with the friendly Texans!


  25. You know full well that I'm busy eye balling those quilts! I wish I could get a hydrangea to grow. I love your shade garden. And your room you can enjoy year round. What a blessing that would be!

  26. What a wonderful (and patriotic!) porch you have, filled with yummy things---both edible and inedible. I love your wicker chairs and the MacKenzie Childs tray.

  27. I really love all the "Americana" details to your decorating touch. Everything is just beautiful! Marcia

  28. Your porch is so pretty and welcoming! And what a great hostess you are...brownies and lemon bars! Yum!

  29. What a beautiful space Sarah. To me nothing says summer like "red, white and blue" and yours sure says summer to me. :) xo

  30. Wonderful porch...I love to sit on the porch and just watch the world go by! I'm with you...I love the red, white and blue from June through August.

  31. Hi i found the big Me chair off Ebay. I think there is another one on there now to bid on.. mishelle

  32. What a lovely spot! I hope I don't squish Uncle Sam when I sit down for my glass of tea.:)
    It looks so pretty and comfortable out there !
    I am still not porch ready, by this weekend I should be though!

  33. What a glorious porch. What are phantom shades? They sound interesting. I think it's so neat that you can cool and heat this area. It's beautiful!

    - The Tablescaper

  34. Wow are you ever Blessed with comments Sweetie,,,how cool is that ;0)
    Love all the snaps you have shared with us

    Happy Blue Monday !!!
    Blessings and Hugs Dena

  35. Hi! What a nice porch you have! I love it!


  36. What a gorgeous porch and sunroom, Sarah!

    I think it's so cool that you know the house we're looking at buying...that means you'll have to come over! :-)

    Have a wonderful Tuesday!

  37. Sarah, it all looks so inviting. I have really enjoyed seeing your great collection of memorabilia. You have some awesome pieces.

    It is too hot to eat outside here, too. We are having to water the outside potted plants almost every day.

  38. What a lovely porch! Your red, white and blues are so summery. I love the cherries - so cheerful!

  39. Wow what a pretty patriotic porch you have! The goodies look so yummy too. Have a great week.

  40. Wow, Sarah! Even that plant (first picture) got into the patriotic spirit with a cute little bow! Your celebratory decorations are mighty tasteful.

  41. Aren't you grateful for that shady terrace in Texas! We've been in the mid 90's this week so I can appreciate a porch that can be used with AC :-) It looks like a wonderful place to enjoy some ice tea & a good book~ Looking forward to your FFT review...

  42. I love your sun room.
    I always do the Patriotic for Memorial Day and leave it up until after the 4th of July..I like the 'Uncle Sam' collection..I don't have any but I think I might buy a couple when they go on sale to use next year.
    Mama Bear

  43. I tried one of your lemon bars....oh so delicious.

  44. What a delightful porch. I love that you can heat and cool it. We don't have a screened/glassed in porch..we have a patio that we never really use. Just too hot out here in West Texas to want to eat outside.
    Love all your red, white and blues...:)

  45. Love your sunroom and terrace. Great photos in your post, too. ~Karen

  46. What a lovely porch and garden, looks so inviting and comfy!

    Nice collection of Uncle Sam figures!

    I took a handful of the lemon bars and brownie bites! Couldn't help myself, they look so delicious!!



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