Turning My Deck into Paradise

It’s that time of the year again, when I start to fantasize about sitting out on my deck, surrounded by plants and cats, sipping a cold drink and enjoying a warm breeze.  I usually get into decorating my little outdoor space, but this year I plan to really turn my deck into Paradise with more plants, more herbs, nicer cushions, fairy lights, and candles. Have I missed anything?

There’s hope on the horizon for Covid relief, with more people getting vaccinated, and more businesses running at full capacity. And the scientists say that once we hit herd levels of immunization we can ease off on quarantining. But until we pass that threshold, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be spending most of this spring and summer just like last year, sitting in the “safe bubble” of my home and deck. So I really, really want to make it a beautiful, restorative space – for me, and the limited “family” group that I share space with. I’ve always loved sitting outside on the deck, but it seems more important than ever this year to create a place of comfort and renewal – something to really gladden the heart, and stimulate all my senses.

I’m thinking of aromatic herbs and flowers. I always have rosemary and basil, but I think this will be the year that I plant thyme between the pavers and maybe get some get some pots of narcissus, hyacinth and baby roses. Those will hold me through lilac season when I can put the aromatic herbs out. I think I’ll add some eggplant to the usual tomatoes and basil, and plant some mint in a corner where I don’t care if it takes over. And for the height of summer I can have pots of spicy geranium to tickle my nose and eyes with vibrant colors.

I’m going to put up bird feeders, too. I used to feed the birds at my last place, but I never set up anything once I moved, and I miss it.  I love the sound of the birds, their quiet beauty and joyful antics – getting to know the regulars and looking forward to when they bring their new babies to visit. I’ve always thought that the rewards for me were far greater than the handful of food they were getting out of the deal.

I have a couple of pretty metal wall hangings outside, and I’m going to keep my eyes open for a few more pieces to add to my space. I’ve always had a few tealights and candles around, but I think I’m going to increase those numbers and add some small fairy lights so I can sit outside even later into the night – just to be out of the house longer, and closer to nature. I don’t usually have a problem with mosquitoes, but maybe I’ll invest in a small fan to keep any bugs flying away from me.

Have I missed anything? Maybe, but I’ve got the rest of winter to think about it – and that’s already lifted my mood. The daydreaming, the planning, a small purchase here and there, and then the anticipation of seeing it all come to fruition. That’s what gets me through the winter.

This article was first published February 2021.

Photo credit: thisoldhouse.com

Cheryl Shainmark is a writer, editor, and certified hypnotherapist with a private practice in New York. A long time contributor of articles and book reviews, Cheryl is now a senior editor and a regular columnist at Merlian News. When she is not reading, reviewing, or dreaming about books she can be found playing with cats of all stripes at her quiet country retreat.