A New Red Bench & Blooms Around the Potting Shed


 Are you staying cool this summer? We’ve had typical July weather~ hot and humid with temperatures in the 90s. I’m usually out the door at sun up to walk the dogs and then watering and on to other gardening chores and errands, so I can retreat back to the comfort of the A/C by noon to avoid the afternoon heat and climbing temperatures.


I know I’m in the minority when I confess that summer is not my favorite time of year and just the thought of August heat and humidity makes me break out in a sweat.


It’s been dry here with the exception of a few welcome thunderstorms lately that are helping supplement my morning watering schedule and get new perennial garden established.


My hubby is happy his hole-digging days are postponed until October when our fall weather typically arrives.


I did manage to plant a new red bench by my Potting Shedno watering required!


My new red bench was on sale with free shipping and I fell for it hook, line and sinker when I saw Susan’s benches at Between Naps on the Porch!


The Luciana® outdoor bench is still available and on sale at Grandin Road.


I planted a white mandevilla vine on a trellis next to it between my window boxes, and added some twine secured to the siding for it to climb.

Mandevilla trellis

Sweet potato vine planted in my window boxes is growing at rapid pace to the point of crowding everything else, and has already concealed the twine where it’s attached to the trellis.


The vine is starting to climb its way up the twine, and I’m hoping it will continue up and around with additional twine to frame the windows with white blooms.



 Limelight Hydrangea can stand up to the summer heat (unlike me ;) and is starting to bloom.


White flowers help me feel cool, at least psychologically!




Bees are buzzing and happy to have some summer blooms.


If you’re looking for a refreshing beverage to keep you cool this summer that’s the Bees Knees, you can find a recipe for Summer Peach Tea Punch, here.


A summery twist on an Arnold Palmer, Summer Peach Tea Punch is a crowd pleaser and ideal for serving for a bridal or baby shower.


It’s also easily adjusted to enjoy as a cocktail party punch for a crowd.


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  55 comments for “A New Red Bench & Blooms Around the Potting Shed

  1. Michelle
    July 11, 2016 at 6:47 am

    Love your red bench, and of course your beautiful garden!🌻😎🌴

  2. July 11, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Your garden always looks so good – love the bench – and that drink service looks terrific, esp. the cocktail version (then who’d care about the heat?!). Have a great week.

  3. Cheryl
    July 11, 2016 at 7:02 am

    Drop dead gorgeous! I’m ready for tea. I’ll have mine by the pool please.

  4. July 11, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Lovely! The new bench is GORGEOUS, (♥ RED)as are all your pretty flowers. You can add me to the few who dislike summer, too. NOT my favorite season…tooooo hot & humid & I know Ohio isn’t anywhere near as miserable as the South.
    I am using my beehive drink dispenser next week at my quilt guild’s picnic…I need to find a stand like yours!!!

  5. Diane
    July 11, 2016 at 7:30 am

    I hear you girlfriend…Hate the heat!! It has been awful in Atlanta. I water early in the morning then hibernate in the ac the rest of the day. Your garden is so beautiful just seeing these pictures makes me happy.

  6. July 11, 2016 at 7:31 am

    That bench looks like it was made for your garden. How lovely! I love how the vine is growing so rapidly, too. I’m bookmarking the recipe for the Peach Ice Tea. I recently made Pallini Palmers – Arnold Palmers with Limoncello. Now I must try this one.

  7. Peggy Bryant
    July 11, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Perfect bench for the perfect spot. Looks like it’s always been there.

  8. July 11, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Your new bench looks like it was made for your potting shed Mary, the color is spot on! {I drooled over Susan’s too} Your blooms don’t look like they are suffering the heat of summer at all, gorgeous! As much as I love summer, I hate the heat and humidity, so you’ll find me in the pool or on the porch with a cool beverage, especially if it’s Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka :) I must try it with the peach next time!

  9. Ellen Stillabower
    July 11, 2016 at 8:24 am

    The Red bench is a beauty!!! Wish I had room for one…and “Red” is my favorite color!!! That mandevilla is a beauty too!! The bench matches your window boxes..did it come in that red or did you paint it!! Just gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing..❤️🌻🍹🌼🌹

  10. July 11, 2016 at 8:44 am

    I’m in line with you, Mary, in not liking the summer heat, and much prefer the other three seasons! All your white, with the hydrangeas and mandevilla vines does add to the illusion of coolness. An oh my, your new red bench makes my heart go pitter patter. Now it just looks soooo happy outside your potting shed. I can picture you sitting there and sipping some of your peach iced tea.

  11. Alice
    July 11, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Love your photography😍

  12. Pat
    July 11, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I hate the heat and humidity too! Makes me so cranky… I try to take care of errands, etc., in the mornings and, like you, hibernate inside with the a/c in the afternoons. It makes me feel as “shut in” as our ice storms in the winter. The bench is beautiful! I love red and it looks perfect in that space. All of your plants and flowers are gorgeous!

    Try to stay cool ~

  13. July 11, 2016 at 9:05 am

    The perfect touch. What fun it will be to decorate your new read bench for all the holidays!!!!

  14. July 11, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I love your bench. The shape of it is fabulous and red was the color for your shed!
    Your vines, flowers and especially your limelights are doing well.

  15. July 11, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Love your red bench!! And pillow…by the way! I’m like you summer is not my favorite time of the year either. I’ve become an air conditioner gal! Mornings are water the plants time for me too.. I think I could bast in the morning shade by your potting shed every morning…especially if you’d share that Tea!!


  16. Vanessa
    July 11, 2016 at 9:50 am

    What a cute bench!!! Love it. I am working on making one with a vintage spindle bed that I bought at a garage sale two years ago. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  17. franki
    July 11, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I JUST GOT that in a swing!!! Isn’t it cool???!!?? I’m going out to swing RIGHT NOW!! franki

  18. July 11, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Such gorgeous photos. I really enjoyed this post. Your whole garden is just lovely!

  19. Linda
    July 11, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I, too, have a red bench in my garden. I wanted a pop of color so I sprayed an old bench and a wooden hand pump well colonial red. Filled the well with coleus :-). Summer is my favorite time of year, because my gardens are so happy. I am in Michigan in the middle of a Monday morning thunderstorm. No watering today :-). One of my favorite emails comes from you. I love the things you share. Thank you :-)
    (Where did you get the cute floral straws?)

    • July 11, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks Linda! The straws came form HomeGoods :)

      • Linda
        July 11, 2016 at 12:25 pm

        Thank you :-)

  20. July 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Mary, I admit that summer isn’t my favorite either. The days are too long and hot for me. Give me cooler days and a cozy fire anytime.
    I love, love, love your new red bench. I was tempted myself when Susan posted about her new benches on the front porch. If only I had a good spot for one of these, I would have placed an order immediately. It’s perfect by the shed, and come cooler weather you can relax in style with a good book and cup of tea as you admire your new perennial garden. ‘-)

  21. bobbi duncan
    July 11, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Mary, your garden is gorgeous! I love your new garden bench. Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch, has two black ones on her front porch…fell in love with their whimsical charm when I saw them on her blog and love seeing them in red on your blog. Know you will enjoy them.

  22. Linda L
    July 11, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Oh my gosh, such a great bench. Looks wonderful with your window boxes. Nice pillow too!

  23. July 11, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Mary, your window boxes are beautiful along with the red bench. The peach tea looks so refreshing…limelights brighten my garden, also! Pam @ Everyday Living

  24. July 11, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Looks lovely – perfect for summer evenings when it cools off. Where did you find the metal trellis and obelisk you have the vines growing on? I’d love to find something similar for my garden. :)

    • July 11, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      They came from a flea market about 15 years ago. :)

  25. July 11, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    I just love your garden and that bench is just perfect! I’ve been getting up at 5am just to get my little patio garden watered before it gets so hot. Despite being a born and bred southerner, I am not a hot weather girl. I much prefer the cool days of fall and cold days of winter. Have a great day!

    • July 11, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Amen Laura! :)

  26. Lorraine Turk
    July 11, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    A Ha – another person in the world that shares my sentiments of summer – though I love the flowers, birds, fresh fruits and vegetables – I will take Autumn over summer any day. Love the red bench!

    • July 11, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      Me too Lorraine…Fall can’t get here soon enough for me!

  27. July 11, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Did you say you are at Lake Norman? Beautiful area…my sister lives in Charlotte.

    • July 11, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Jackie, Yes, Lake Norman :)

  28. SusanBetweenNapsOnThePorch
    July 11, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Mary, this is gorgeous! Everything is so beautiful and your new bench looks like it was made for that spot! This summer has definitely been a hot one! It’s like we went from spring straight to August weather. Maybe in August we’ll finally have May/June weather. lol
    Love your Limelight Hydrangea, I’ve really fallen hard for those. Love how they transition from white to the prettiest lime color.
    When I need some gardening inspiration, I’m coming back for some time on this bench with a glass of that wonderful tea!

    • Annie
      July 11, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      Oh this is really so beautiful. I’m wild about the bench & I heard about the black ones on Between Naps on the Porch & am going there next! I love the gravel & stepping stones, too.

  29. July 11, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    everything is lovely as always. that bench is perfect for the spot. i love all your gorgeous blooms & plants. i love how you capture the bees around the flowers fits perfect w/ all you bee inspired decor. ; ). xo- maryjo

  30. July 11, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Oh where to start??? Your bench is gorgeous and perfect there!!! I LOVE the red!!! Will the mandavilla last through the winter down there? It is annual up here:( It will be beautiful going around your windows! Thanks for the recipe too. Have a beautiful week.

  31. Roberta Holbrook
    July 11, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Did the pillow come with the bench? It’s perfect!

  32. July 11, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Even with the horrendous heat of the summer, your plants look great…LOVE that bench!…yes, saw it over at Susan’s…The bench is perfect for the Potting Shed….so belongs there in that spot!..Stay cool!…

  33. July 12, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Lovely ideas and amazing pillow

  34. July 12, 2016 at 5:10 am

    Your new bench is beautiful Mary! It’s starting to get pretty steamy here too-stay cool:@)

  35. Paula
    July 12, 2016 at 8:20 pm


    Your plants look amazing, they must love the heat !! Love the red bench it is perfect ! Is the white flower vine a annual vine ?? The Peach Tea sounds wonderful !! Its been pretty warm, okay HOT here in northern IN. but we wont complain much , better then a foot of snow :)
    Keep cool!!

    • July 12, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Hi Paula, Yes, the mandevilla is a tropical vine so it’s an annual here. Enjoy your summer weather :)

  36. A quiet life
    July 13, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Perfect color match with your boxes. Another stunning retreat to admire from afar in your a/c ;-)

  37. July 13, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Beautiful post, Thank you for sharing all the great ideas of Summer. We have hot weather in the Valley of California, but it is dry. Thank goodness.

  38. July 14, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Love your new red bench (and the pillow). I bet the white mandevilla and Hydrangea really “pop”. I love white in the garden. I still say I’m going to move into your potting shed, but maybe I’ll wait until late October when it isn’t so hot and humid! Bring on the peach anything!

  39. Cyndi Raines
    July 15, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Beautiful Mary – a perfect match!

  40. Karen
    July 18, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I enjoy visiting your potting shed and garden – you and your husband have done an amazing job. Everything looks like it has always been there – I love the perennial bed with the walkway!
    I would like to ask two questions – first, how and to what are your watering cans “attached” and secondly, where did you find the beautiful garden pillow on your new garden bench? You seem to have a knack for finding the perfect accessories for your special place!
    Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents – I am always inspired and left smiling!!

    • July 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Thank you for your sweet comment Karen! The watering cans are hanging on a chain, you can see it more clearly in this post. They’re hanging by inexpensive plain shower curtain hooks that I picked up at Walmart in a pack of 12. I found the pillow at HomeGoods about 5 years ago, you can see it here.

  41. tennisqueen
    July 19, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! I LOVE the bench, but the rest of your yard is awesome too!

  42. July 20, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    That tea table in front of the bee skep looks perfect! Thank you for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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