Once shady places to greet neighbors and retreat from a rainstorm, porches have now claimed their place as prime outdoor living and gardening spaces. It is where we dine al fresco, take respite from the heat, shelter from the rain, steal twenty winks, tend our prized begonias or nuzzle next to a fire. That happy medium nestled betwixt nature and nest, our porches are for living!
Nostalgic yet modernly apropos, porches provide the venue of venues to grasp the goodness of both the home and garden. From the contemporary yet classically rooted outdoor fabrics and furnishings that make porches chic and cherished, to the hanging baskets and planters chock-full of seasonal delights, today's porches offer comfort and elegance, and, most importantly, an addition to the home and garden. Whether jettisoned boldly into parterres aplenty or delightfully diminutive, a grand outdoor salon or sleeping nook, our porches represent how we live and how to gloriously live hinged to and romantically suspended from home and garden.
James T. Farmer III is president of James Farmer Designs, which specializes in residential landscape design, floral design and interiors. He graduated from Auburn University.
As a native of the Deep South, James was influenced by great southern architects as well as antebellum architecture, having been influenced by the land and flora of his family farm--an old plantation in Kathleen, Georgia, just outside of Macon, complete with rock walls, boxwood parterres and European influences.
James is the author of A Time to Plant: Southern-Style Garden Living and Sip & Savor: Drinks for Party and Porch. He has appeared on the Today Show as well as regional television. His work has been featured in Southern Living and Traditional Home, among other magazines, and he is a regular contributor to Southern Living.
Helen Norman is a nationally renowned photographer whose images regularly grace the pages of magazines such as Martha Stewart Living, Southern Living, Country French, Renovation Style and Veranda. Helen is an avid gardener and home decorating enthusiast who lives on an organic farm in Maryland with her husband, Mark, and two children, Peter and Patrick. This is her fifth book celebrating the beauty of homes and gardens.