Summer time has finally arrived here in Alaska and that means it’s time to get outside and soak it up before winter descends again in a few short months. Luckily, our rental house has a little balcony right off the main living room that is a perfect spot to sit and enjoy an evening chat. Unfortunately it was looking a little sparse when we first moved in this winter. So I decided to make it a bit more inviting.
I had already picked up two strawberry plants at the farmers market last weekend, which would be hung in the two square baskets I already had. But I was going to need a lot more than two strawberry baskets to save this sad little balcony. The first thing I knew I wanted to add was some chairs, because you can’t sit and relax without those! I contemplated purchasing some plastic chairs but didn’t want to spend almost $20 a pop – especially knowing we probably wouldn’t use them again when we move. Then I remembered we had ‘camping chairs’ which would fit well in the space. Although the chairs have a cup holder built in, I still wanted a little table in between to hold a few little things when necessary. I also knew we needed some flowers to liven up this space. So list in hand, I headed for the largest nursery in town.
I was literally amazed at this place. Not only do they have a HUGE green house full of every type of plant that grows in Alaska, they have 3 HUGE green houses! Plus they had a coffee bar and cafe along with a large gift shop! They are are so big they even do bridal registries! I could have spent all. day. long. here and still not seen everything they had.
The first thing I found was a little stool that I thought would work nicely as a table for the chairs and can later become a photo prop or garden stool. At $26 it wasn’t a super bargain, but I thought it was fairly priced. I knew it would compliment the blue chairs and make a perfect spot for one of the little citronella pots we brought with us from Kodiak. I love how the blues and greens all work together – creating a natural soothing palette. It’s almost like I planned it! 🙂
I picked out marigolds and lobelia to fill the rail baskets we already had, but when I went to hang them I realized the hooks were for a smaller top rail. Lucky for me, my ingenious hubby figured out how to tweak the hooks so they would work on this taller board. Love that man! Hopefully the marigolds add to the citronella and keep the bugs at bay so we don’t spend our evenings swatting the air. I also snagged a lavender plant for the pretty grey pot I had planted seeds in, which never spouted.
After I’d planted the strawberries in the hanging baskets I had to figure out where and how to hang them. I had these pretty bird brackets I’d purchased on DecorSteals.com for our new house several months ago and decided we should start enjoying them now. The hubs put up the brackets where I asked and I think they look great.
Near the check out we spotted a stand of nautical bell wind chimes and tested them all out to find the perfect tone (hopefully the neighbors agree!). We selected one with a dog at the end of the chime rather than the typical Alaskan bear, moose or salmon because it was more symbolic of our little family. Granted neither of our girls have tails, but they didn’t have a chime with a ‘nubby’ dog! LOL Although it was a bit of a splurge at $68, I’ve wanted one for a long time and I knew that was the standard cost for something of that size and weight, especially when you don’t have to pay shipping!
I brought a wrought iron piece out from inside to give the space a little extra flair and then placed the cherry tomato plant I snagged during another trip to the farmers’ market for just $10 under it. We already have a few tomatoes about ready to be picked and enjoyed!
I topped everything off with the little rug we already had so there’s a comfy spot to wipe any dirt off your feet before coming back inside. The hubs replaced the ripped screen so we can also enjoy the breeze from outside even when we are inside. But the best part is that everything we’ve done (except the repaired screen) can be taken down and brought to our new house as soon as it’s ready. So here’s the finished product. What do you think?
I think I’ll light my little citronella pot, sit and enjoy a nice little chat with my hubby after dinner tonight!