Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Deck Canopy: Dressed for Success

Last summer, our seldom used deck became a favorite hangout with the addition of raised beds filled with flowers and vegetables, large potted trees and shrubs, and a canopy that offered shade from the sun.

With tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, and cucumbers planted among pots of geraniums, petunias, balsam, and herbs, it was paradise and a kitchen garden all in one.

This spring we've added a Meyer lemon and honey fig and with the tree hydrangea and the lilac shrubs,  it has become a veritable mini forest. The four foot wide raised beds were too hard to tend from one side so we reconfigured them to make it easier to weed and cultivate. The extra two feet we gained by making them narrower made the living space much more flexible. But the ambiance created by the addition of sheer curtains draped and swagged over the canopy framework was the most dramatic change of all.

Inexpensive curtain scarves from Wal-Mart have transformed a clearance aisle, end of season bargain canopy into an elegant haven. I used plastic cable ties to hold the gently draped sheers in place and at the end of the season, it will be a simple matter to snip the ties and remove the curtains to launder and store them for the  next season.

My only disappointment:  it was raining cats and dogs today so I couldn't sit out and enjoy it!

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