Outdoor style for indoor folk


It’s that time of year again. Spring, or what passes for it here in the heart of the country is upon us.

I think we are actually in our second, or third, winter? Nonetheless, greenhouses and nurseries have dutifully followed the figurative if not literal spring calendar and set out to help us beautify and add value to our properties.

I, for one, always enjoy an opportunity to choose which unsuspecting plants and shrubs will be sentenced to death by my hand. I have no green thumb because I don’t have the attention span or follow through.

I’m pretty sure there are three gorgeous spruce trees currently sitting, unplanted, in my yard. They are going on their second week that way.

Frankly, digging holes doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. I don’t care about the bare spots the dogs and kids leave on the grass. I’m terrible at weeding and believe in my heart that dandelions are actually kind of cute.

People poke fun at the Brady Bunch and their artificial turf yard. I think they were genius ahead of their time.


We got rid of our swimming pool a few years ago once it became clear the children had moved on and preferred lake life to a pool. I have many happy memories of the children and their friends splashing in the pool.

I have equally wonderful memories of my friends and I sipping (and spilling) cold drinks around it. Many memories were built there. When it was removed, packed up, and sent on to a new family I imagined the new space would continue to be as fun.

We carefully reworked the existing pool space into an elaborate sunken fire pit ringed by adirondack chairs. The upper deck features an ample table for dining and conversation.

We then proceeded to never, not even once, use the space for entertaining. As it turns out, we aren’t outdoorsy in our own backyard.

In fact, we have a lush pasture, ancient apple orchard, rolling front fields, and even a charming creek bubbling through our property. At least that’s how I understand it.

I’m indoorsy so I rarely venture out to experience that. I hear good things.


I do like my front and side porch. Technically it is all the same porch as it wraps around the house so elegantly and even at 114 years old and slightly worn, it still makes most visitors gasp with amazement at the grandeur.

It’s basically one of the two reasons I fell in love with the house. The other is a lovely interior staircase. I’ve always been drawn to impractical things that require a lot of work.

In that vein, I currently own two vintage gliders. One so massive and heavy that it may be easier to relocate an actual vehicle to my porch than move this glider. It’ glides, it reclines, and it cost me $12 at a local auction house.

I’ve since painted and lovingly recovered it. By this I mean I threw a sheet over the whole thing because I’m crafty like that. I love that. I think because it’s the closest I can come to putting a sofa on the porch without raising eyebrows.

I’m adding pillows and a side table and probably an extension cord for my laptop. I see no reason to give up my creature comforts just because I’m going to sit outdoors.

My goal is to make it as much like the indoors as possible. I wonder if we get cable out there?

Thus I spend my spring planning my well-appointed porch — and giving no thought to the brown grass and half a dead shrub immediately adjacent. I know I should probably do something about this yard.

Does anyone know the current price of a couple acres of AstroTurf?


Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!

Previous articleAgChoice recognizes scholars
Next articleAgCredit announces profit sharing
Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



Receive emails as this discussion progresses.