Eating al fresco

I have loved eating out on the porch this spring, on the few nights that it’s been warm enough. Somehow everything slows down when you eat outside–you drink a little bit more, but more slowly; dinner lingers on and the conversation flows. Our new apartment has a porch off of the kitchen, running along the side of the building. It’s covered but not screened, and is very long but narrow (19’x5′).

porch 1

porch 2

(That second one is through a screen door–why? Why didn’t I step outside to….never mind. Sigh.)

The narrow width means I have been scouring every website I could think of for long but narrow dining tables, and was thinking I might have to resort to a series of little 2 person café tables all lined up. But today I went to the Ikea site and up popped this:
The Bollö table, which seats 4 and is a folding table 44 inches long and 25 inches deep. Hurray! Two of these come in at $100, and we could fold them up and cover them in the winter. Now on to more exciting things, like getting little lanterns and planning a container garden!

3 thoughts on “Eating al fresco”

  1. This table looks perfect.

    I’ve been meaning to ask what exposure you have on your new porch. Is it shady at all? One of my most successful containers is a hosta in a pot. It fills the pot and is no work; you don’t have to deadhead or trim it, just water. The other nice thing about a hosta in a pot is you can keep it from season to season. Just cut it to the ground in the fall and move it to a dry, cool spot, like your attic or bike storage and haul it out in the spring. The plant sends up beautiful curved shoots and voila! You’ve got a hosta!

  2. The porch faces NE–it’s pretty shady. I know just what you mean about the hosta shoots–our flower bed suddenly developed a case of the Green Spikes a couple weeks ago, and last week the spikes unfurled into variegated hostas! Germi, who writes the gardening blog for Domino magazine, said I should be able to grow cherry tomatoes even without a lot of sun, I just won’t get as much yield.

  3. It’s nice to see the the pictures of your porch – it’s going to be beautiful! Thank goodness it’s bright shade, with some reflected light from the roof next to you – that makes a big difference … we aren’t talking dark shade, from these images. I think if you could possibly perch some windowboxes over the rail ( there are hooks that will grab the rail, if you don’t want to secure the box with screws or nails ) you’d probably get some more sun on your tomatoes. Just make sure to grow them on supports so your downstairs neighbor doesn’t get all your Sungolds!
    I wish I could grow Hosta here – they are never full and lush for us, only a shadow of what they are meant to be. I love any plant that comes in the tones of blue that Hosta come in. I’ll get a vicarious thrill from your containers, just like I do from your dinners!

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