This time of year in Portland, OR, we’re teetering on the end of winter / beginning of spring. We’ve had such a mild time of it generally that we’re ahead of schedule in many ways, but like everybody else I’m still antsy with the desire for more sunshine and long days spent outside. I’m grateful we’re not facing the kind of snow much of the northeast is dealing with, and love that I can spend time in between rain storms with tea in the garden; doing the rounds and noticing all the new growth happening everywhere. It’s such an optimistic time of year, and it challenges me to appreciate the moment rather than always looking to what’s coming next. Yet I still find myself cheering things on, from the second round of crocus to the early daffodils to the first foliage, my internal monologue goes something like, “Come on! You can do it!”
So to satisfy my longing without a greenhouse (which is a maybe-one-day fantasy) I bring the life and color right up to my front door in containers. That way I get to cheat the seasons a little bit by purchasing and using plants that other people have grown in a greenhouse, and are therefore further along. They’re protected a bit by being under our deep porch, and benefit from the reflected heat off the front of the house, but all are fine outside this time of year no matter what.
There are some perennial mainstays in the larger containers, but the smaller ones are there to be replanted and moved around regularly for seasonal color. Each year I look forward to dreaming up new combinations and being able to enjoy certain plants earlier than I would out in the garden because they’re so pampered.
I’ll probably update them again in about a month with whatever looks exciting to me then. I don’t use red in the way of flowers out in the garden beds so it also feels a bit like I’m getting away with something by having red up here on the porch.