Monday, April 9, 2012

A Few Signs of Patio Life

We live far from the sea here in the desert southwest of the country. That's why we must bring the ocean home to us. Who knows where this fountain relic began its journey to a dusty town in New Mexico, but I'm glad it found its way to me. The fantastical dolphin reminds me of those you find drawn on maps warning the ancient sailor that he had come to the ends of the earth, and that beyond here be dragons: the edge of the known world. 

I have a notorious French ancestor who settled here after many long journeys. A fantastical character like the monster on a map, he navigated the desert by the stars in the way he had done at sea. So my sea references come with a tale as well!

Many traditional homes here have niches built in. 

What you include, and where, has a big impact on the look of the patio. This photo, and the following one is from two summers ago. Things can change a lot all through the season. These were easy plants to keep going whatever they are!


As you can see, we are living patio life once more after our own journey through seasons. Spring and fall can be lovely in Albuquerque. And even in the heat of summer, early mornings and late evenings are patio time! 

We are in process of the annual ritual of bringing out plants from indoors, and replacing the potted herbs. Lots of weekend visits to the nursery to dress up the skeletal garden artifacts.

It seems like we replace at least one broken market umbrella every spring. (Wind is a hazard.) This time of year we even need them to keep the elm seeds off the plates at meal time. Sweep. sweep, sweep!

It's time to coax a few spindly and pale plants back to life, if it can be done. . . .

A little lovely dusty miller in a zinc tray.

Transfer ware and McCoy pot details.

Bent up vintage racks give character to a patio garden. This one is an old vinyl record stand.

A French cast iron fence piece offers a little excitement too.

Still lots of clearing, sweeping, and dressing up to do!

I'm so glad to be dusting off the patios again!
It's a great place to settle in with a magazine and listen to the birds.
I hope you're enjoying some of your own seasonal rituals too.
Have a super week!


Join me at
Metamorphosis Monday
Tabletop Tuesday


  1. Your fountain piece with dolphin reminds me of Italian fountains in the squares there. I think your plants in the two square concrete planters may be dracena. I have planted so much I have nary a planter left to fill and every muscle is tired and sore.

  2. Gobsmaking it I want a fern plant so bad I can taste it(eww)xoxo

  3. Your patio is looking lovely! I love the chippy, crusty pieces. Visiting from MetMonday at BNOTP.

  4. Hi Jacqueline: Aren't we alot happier now that we are working in the garden? But lots to do as far as road trips to the nursery are concerned. So much beauty to look at and hard decisions to make. Your's is looking grand..Happy Monday..Judy

  5. Of course, I love the transferware chamber pot -- you are brave; I'm not sure I could trust the Colorado winds outside with any of my transferware. We haven't cleaned our screened in porch yet -- still a bit cool here. Take care, Sally

  6. Your patio looks charming and so inviting.

  7. It's always relaxing to come here and now to visit your spring patio is pure pleasure. I love the shabby, rusted pieces the best and anything iron, paint chipping. Wonderful.
    It's pretty chilly here this week but I will still rake the colored stones that have found their way to the lawn from the winter's plowing. There are wind-blown branches to pick up and birdhouses to clean out. The bluebirds have checked their homes and will return in the end of the month before staying.
    Maybe I will surprise them with a new welcome home sign.
    BlessYourHeart and EnjoyEveryMinute

  8. What a wonderful little oasis you've created on your patio! Love that little green and white stripped chair seat, and the way your glasses are sitting on the table, like you were just sitting there reading and enjoying the space...


  9. How exciting it all is. To be able to fill in the little spaces with new plants and spruce up the old ones.
    I have started the cleanup, but still lots to do.
    Your patio looks so beautiful Jacqueline. I love the deep terracotta on the wall and the niche with the statue.
    What a wonderful thing , to be able to go back some generations in your family. You must tell us about it in another blog.
    As always a super post. I liked it a lot.
    happy gardening

  10. Jacqueline, we are outside a lot these days too. We love dining alfresco this time of year. Beautiful images as always. ~ Sarah

  11. such an comforting setting... the niche is the perfect place to show off the best of the best! love the sage, adobe and wood all together, colors look wonderful and cool, a great feel to the true heat you will have soon enough~

  12. Your patio looks so welcoming.. love the transferware pot! Enjoy your time outside!

  13. Jacqueline,
    Lovely views of your patio! I adore the niche! That pot full of basil needed to be in my salad tonight! YuM! Dusty Miller has such a lovely silvery glow and at night it's illuminating! I admire how you mix the rustic with the pristine! On the Prairie the temperatures are sweltering on the west side of our deck. I, too, love the early mornings and late evenings there!

  14. Everything looks fabulous. Love all of your wonderful architectural elements and the plants and pots are beautiful. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  15. What lovely photos you have shared with us all. Thankyou. I am your latest follower.

  16. Seems perfect already!
    thanks for showing it a haven.


  17. YOur patio looks so inviting. I can't wait to get out and get mine cleaned up. :)

  18. It's so rewarding,working in the garden, especially with pots and statues,changing around and tweaking.
    We are doing that at the moment. Yes and lots of sweeping.
    Your patio is looking really nice. I like the chamber pot with the brown transfer.

  19. We dusted ours off the 24th of last month.. It's been absolutely gorgeous here. Soon it will be way too hot to even put a toe outside after 10am and before 9pm... Your patio is lovely.. wow. I love the nicho in the wall. Happy spring.. xo marlis

  20. Hello Jacqueline,
    well, you're right -a lot of patio posts this week! We are coming out of our cocoons and enjoying the fresh air - LOVE your patio - I remember the warm desert nights - the fantastic sunrises and sunsets - when my Dad retired we traveled across the country from California to SC - it was wonderful! I hope you have a fantastic week,

  21. what a great place to sit and enjoy a glass of tea.

  22. Your little patios looke like an oasis to me. I can't wait to get out my deck furnishings and pot some colour but it will be a while yet as it's still really cold here. I like all your white ironwork decor. Enjoy!

  23. Your porch looks beautifully welcoming. A sweet haven! From your pictures it looks secluded and very European. I would spend so much time out there! Thanks for the little mental vacation.

  24. What a lovely oasis your patio is, Jacqueline. I'm a little too far north to start bringing things out yet, although each warm day I'm sorely tempted! I've lost my share of market umbrellas in the wind, and with a crabapple tree overhead there is LOTS of sweeping throughout the summer and fall! I think I sweep outside more often than I do in my house. But it's so nice to have an extension of your home outdoors. Have a happy time out there! I'll be doing the same soon, I hope.

  25. This is a lovely spot! I can hear the birds. Ours have been singing loudly! That French garden cart is fabulous! So inviting under that umbrella! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!


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