February Dreams

This weekend we enjoyed a mix of rain and sun and what the two bring together.


A project we hope to complete this spring is the revamping of the right side of our front entryway.


Coppertop’s previous owners added a stone patio, stairs, and a doorway leading from an interior dining room we call the morning room, although the west-facing room gets the best afternoon sun. Their plan was to eventually add a sunroom here, but then they sold us the home. This door has always seemed like an awkward duplicate entry to us. As we have no need for additional space and no desire for a sunroom, we plan to renovate, removing the door and stairs, and returning a window to this spot along with a landscaped area out front in place of the patio. Initially we thought a patio with a pergola would be nice here, but we’ve never used the existing patio since the deck beckons with the views on the other side of the home. An area of green will add life to the front of the home which is dominated by the gravel drive and other hardscape.

Changing the front of our home also coincides with the end of an era and bidding farewell to some amazing planters we purchased in Italy almost 20 years ago. The patio featured these terracotta beauties that had been through one too many freezes and thaws in Washington, Virginia, California, and Portugal. If I’d known a way to recycle these or a fun project using massive pieces of terracotta, you know I would have tried.



The last two huge, damaged planters currently hold dark star ceanothus that we’ll transplant to another area of the gardens or use out front. One planter may be salvageable, but we’d have to treat it gingerly and bring it indoors or into the garage each winter. This reminds me of Italians loading up their big potted lemon trees and bringing them into a limonaia, or a type of lemon house, for the winter.  In case I’m tempted:  The Pacific Northwest is not lemon friendly, and neither is the idea of transporting terracotta friendly to Hubby’s back.



I’ve been trimming back the beds of perennials and potentilla, spiraea, and other deciduous shrubs that border our front walkway and driveway.


As I work, I’ve imagined the types of plants I’d like to feature in the new space. The rhododendrons and mock orange we added to the left of the door have done well, and rhodies are definitely in the running. I know that Hubby would love to plant at least one dwarf evergreen that he can cover with lights each Christmas!

5 thoughts on “February Dreams

  1. I know that you’ll say good-bye to your Italian terracotta pots with a heavy heart. Out in the countryside (I’m thinking in particular around Siena) I’d see these huge pots, broken, which they’d leave standing in some distant corner of the garden to be gradually covered by a herb or other spreading vegetation, softening its broken body and allowing it to return to the earth in its own good time.
    Have you ever thought of planting a tiny herb garden in that space to the right of your entrance? I’ve discovered that many herbs stay green all year round (in my garden, besides thyme and rosemary, also the curry plant) so it would always look alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, those piles of broken pots near Siena sound beautiful! I also like your idea of an herb garden. Not sure yet how we will balance out the plantings to the left of the door. More thought and research required!


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