Bring Spring Inside

The weather outside is delightful, therefore it’s difficult for me to be stuck at the computer. After planting everything that can endure a cold snap, I am impatiently awaiting the arrival of the frost-free date in order to safely continue digging in the dirt. The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists April 24 as the date that there is still a 50-percent possibility of frost occurring. Those are pretty risky odds for planting impatiens. I remember this week in the early 80s because we had a snowstorm! The USDA sets the date for last frost of the year for our planting zone, which is 6a, between May 1 – 15. I’ve always thought of May 10th, or as my sister says, Mother's Day, as a safe date. However, there are sometimes unusual occurrences the impact planting. The year Mount Pinatubo erupted, spewing ash and other compounds, it caused a one-degree drop in temperature globally. While that doesn’t sound like much of a variation, we had a hard freeze late in May 1992, and a very cold, stormy summer followed.

Although cold rainy weather is surely come after this lovely stretch of sunny skies and balmy breezes, bringing a little bit of spring gardening inside will help keep spirits up! I visited the Old Red Barn here in Defiance last weekend during the shop's spring open house. I’d been looking for something unique to use on the big farmhouse table we had built last year. I found it, along with some creative inspiration. It's a long box made of recycled wood. Simple, yet it offers endless, year-round possibilities for a table display. I shopped the house and the garden shed and found all kinds of quirky items that standing alone wouldn’t make much of a statement, but combined with a collection of rustic garden tools, a pewter sundial, and some twigs from the hillside arranged in an old crock and draped with tiny lights, it works! 

Our focus has shifted to the outdoors, so the fireplace is no longer the cozy center of the family room. A variety of birdhouses, bird bottles, and a white grapevine wreath arranged with a lighted twig garland helps bring a breath of spring to the mantle. I’m always switching decorative items around the house. I find that mixing textures such as smooth, glossy porcelain with a variety of fabrics, rustic items, weathered wood, and other natural components gives a display many interesting places for the eye to light. Sometimes it takes a while as I open drawers and tubs and rummage around the shed and garage looking for the perfect final accent to make a display complete.
 

       Birdhouses and bottles bring the freshness of April inside. 

      Birdhouses and bottles bring the freshness of April inside.