On the east side of our house, adjacent to the kitchen, a screened porch connects to an open patio with a built-in grill. Having a screened area for bug-free dining or nighttime reading is a delight, as is sleeping there under the ceiling fan on hot nights. We planted a Himalayan birch close to the patio to provide dappled shade and to screen the driveway. Its canopy gives a cozy feel to this space without blocking our long views to the east and south. The garden we see from the porch is the most viewed of all our gardens. Because it is the first garden we see in the morning and the first garden that guests see upon arriving, using plants with year-round interest is important. A comfortable seating area is the perfect place to relax while dinner is on the grill, or to catch some early…
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