When we built our log home, the walk-in front has a full width covered porch 8 feet deep with a view I have often used on my blog at various seasons.  This porch is north facing and has two ceiling fans for those very few days when it is both hot and still.  Our home sits in a hollow on the flank of a mountain that soars another 2000+ feet to the north of us and a gap to the south that is probably 1000 feet lower than us.  This makes for a delightful climate that has a breeze to a strong wind nearly every day.  Last fall after the house was restained and passed the final certificate of occupancy, we had a temporary one for several years, we landscaped the front and east sides of the house, including a deep set back where the utility room joins the garage.

This porch has often been used to sit with morning coffee, to take a sheltered break from yard work or to just sit and read.  The view from this porch includes our old barn and the flank of Salt Pond Mountain, atop which sits Mountain Lake Hotel, the site of the film “Dirty Dancing.”

Also as the house shell was being turned over to us for our son, his partner, and who ever else he could recruit to finish the inside, he also tackled a south facing deck.  Our dining room on the back side of the house opened out above a walkout basement and boy was that a big first step.  We either had to have steps or a deck.  He designed and built an awesome retaining wall from the field stone on the property and build a deck with an 8 X 12′ walk the french doors open onto, leading to a 16 X 12′ foot deck with steps leading down onto the lawn.  This deck was furnished only with a standing swing bench and a huge treated lumber picnic table and was grossly under used.

This deck because of it’s exposure has not held stain very well and is too hot to enjoy in the evenings until the sun is low over the west hillside.  It became our spring project, now that the basement project is over, and with the help of a neighbor, it was powerwashed to strip it of the old peeling stain, new ballusters installed, and the whole thing restained with a penetrating oil stain.  As the spring warmed, I planted the planters with red gerber daisies and lantana to attract the hummingbirds and they were placed on the newly finished deck with the herb pots and two large rosemary bushes in pots.

Today, we decided to complete its look and make it more user friendly, moving a glass topped outdoor dining table back there to replace the warped peeling picnic table, restained the porch swing and replaced it on the deck, and purchased 4 outdoor dining chairs with cushions and a matching umbrella.  The deck looks so inviting, that we dined outdoors enjoying the gorgeous eve and the delightful breeze.