Join me on a tour of some of my favorite spots around the property to enjoy the beauty of midsummer here on the coast of Maine!
(Mid)summer Is Finally Here!
The fog is gone!
It is almost August, and summer is finally here on the coast of Maine!
(Just in time for midsummer, one might say…)
These are the long glorious days I dream of all through the winter and well into spring.
Bright blue skies.
Sunlight sparkling on water.
Tall grasses blowing in the cool ocean breeze.
Colorful blooms filling my pots and garden beds.
A tall hedge of creamy limelights lining the deck.
A cotton candy sunset after a summer storm.
I can’t get enough of it all!
Join me on a tour of my favorite spots around the property to enjoy all this midsummer beauty!
Meet me on the porch!
Morning Coffee on the Porch
This time of year I like to start the day with coffee on the porch.
Sometimes I even stick around there for breakfast.
The sun rises off to the left over the water and floods the porch with sunshine. Even on cool late summer and early fall mornings it is warm here.
I stretch out on the chaise or curl up on the wicker loveseat, depending on my mood, and take in the view. Often there is a lobster boat or two out on the ocean. Sometimes a sailboat out for an early cruise.
The pots I optimistically filled with a mix of plants one cool foggy day are finally coming into their own as they soak in the recent sunshine. And the limelights which line the porch have grown tall and are covered in flower buds.
This is the best way to start the day!
A Warm Welcome
The beds on either side of the front walkway and along the low stone wall that separates the yard from the driveway are planted with a mix of shrubs, perennials, and annuals.
A collection of pots line the granite steps that lead to the front door. Like the pots on the deck, I planted these before summer had really arrived. It is so rewarding now to see them filled with lush greenery and colorful blooms!
This is the sight that welcomes family and friends.
And it is the view that says “you are home” as soon as I turn into the driveway.
Truthfully, it even makes my heart sing when I walk back down the driveway from getting the mail up by the road!
Field of Dreams
Probably the most dramatic change in our property through the seasons is the wildflower field.
In the winter it lies shorn and brown. Devoid of any signs of life.
Now it is thick with tall grasses and wildflowers. Bees, butterflies, and birds flit from bloom to bloom.
You can read all about our wildflower meadow in my post Natural Landscape: Our Coastal Maine Wildflower Meadow.
I love to follow the meandering path cut through all this wild growth to the small clearing near the top of our property. From there I can look down at the house and out to the harbor.
Like the walk down the driveway, this view makes my heart fill with gratitude for this place I call home.
I keep two chairs on the lower lawn just above the tide line.
Sometimes I like to turn them towards the water to take in the view out to the ocean.
And other times I face them towards the house. I like to sit there, looking up at the house and thinking about how much this property has changed since I first laid eyes on it 7 1/2 years ago.
If you missed the story of our home, you can read it in my two part series: Chasing a Dream: Our Coastal Maine House Story, Part I and Part 2!
On the Water
For most months of the year, I look out the windows at our little harbor: the spit of land that extends far into the harbor as the tide goes out, the “magic disappearing” island with its pair of tall thin spruce trees, summer homes lining the opposite shoreline, the opening out to the ocean where colorful lobster buoys bob, and the distant shipping lane with its parade of ships large and small.
In the summer, I am able to venture out into this landscape in my kayak. At high tide I paddle over the submerged spit of land, around the little island, past the summer homes, out to the ocean and through the floating lobster buoys. Sometimes I will even go out to edge of the far island, the shipping lane just beyond, before turning around.
And as I make my way back, I am treated to the best view of all — our sweet shingled cottage, nestled on the shoreline, calling me home like a beacon.
A Nap in the Hammock
My daughter Zoë arrives for a two-week visit this Saturday.
Her favorite spot is the hammock. Even when she is working, she always makes room in her schedule for a little hammock time!
I enjoy stretching out here from time to time. It affords a different perspective of the house!
Basking in the Sun
I have the patio on the right of the house set up as a potting area. The hose is there, a well as a little potting table and two wicker chairs. A collection of driftwood sticks, buoys, and other found “treasures” leans in the corner.
As afternoon moves toward evening, the sun shifts to this side of the house. (I never know whether to call the water or the road side of the house the “front”…)
This is where I like to sit later in the day, basking in the sun, and looking across the field and up to the guest cottage.
Listening to the birds sing and watching the activity in the field, my thoughts often turn to how this part of the property has changed through years and how it transitions through the seasons.
Evening into Night
Our newest outdoor space is centered around a propane fire feature from Prism Hardscapes!
I chose the Moderno 1, a generously sized classic round fire bowl. The handcrafted glass fiber reinforced cement bowl in their custom patina Pewter finish is both sleek and organic, calling to mind Maine’s rocky shoreline.
I had a very basic wood burning fire ring on the lower lawn, but I had only used it a couple times in the past few years. I am not good at starting a fire and it always seemed like the smoke was blowing directly into someone’s face. Plus there is always the worry of waiting for the fire to die down before heading in for the night.
With this propane-fueled fire bowl, I can easily turn the fire on and off when I want to. And with 65,000 BTUs of heat, I am looking forward to enjoying it through the fall and into the winter!
I had planned on placing it on the lower lawn, but our wet summer has left the ground saturated. We wouldn’t have been able to get the heavy fire bowl down there without destroying the grass.
So, I opted to put it on the upper lawn just off the deck instead. And wow, it has the best ocean view on the property!
With our Polywood Adirondack chairs grouped around the fire bowl, this could easily become my favorite outdoor seating area!
This Week Into Next
A Summer Cake
I had a wonderful visit with my daughter Leah, SIL Adam, and their little cutie-patootie Jamie. He truly is such a delight!
It was Leah’s birthday on Monday, so I brought her a cake. Have you ever made Ina Garten’s Strawberry Country Cake?! It is an old favorite of mine! A simple white cake, delicately flavored with orange and lemon zest and layered with homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries, it is like a lighter more flavorful strawberry shortcake. And it also feels a little more healthy than a regular cake, if that even matters to you when eating cake!
Here is the recipe. I highly recommend!
On the drive back from Massachusetts yesterday, I stopped at the Stonewall Kitchen flagship store in York, Maine.
Do you remember last September, when I went on a two-day bloggers’ retreat with Stonewall?
You can read about the history of this iconic Maine business and all the fun we had on the retreat in my post From Maine to Your Home With Stonewall Kitchen.
The store in York is enormous. And they have a separate home store too. I picked up a candle and soaps for the primary bedroom and bath in a new Michel Design Works scent — Moss and Oak. I have to say I am already a bit obsessed with this fresh scent! And the packaging is so beautiful too!
A Flower Subscription
I shared on Instagram that I signed up for a summer flower subscription with a small farm market that is just up the road. Last week, the first, I received a beautiful bunch of lilies. This week’s bouquet is primarily zinnias and sunflowers. Such a colorful combo!
The flowers are perfect paired with the new candle on my bedside table! Looks and smells like summer!
Time for me to run — gotta finish getting ready for Zoë and little Poppy!
Be well, friends!