Am I sure I want all these window boxes?

Frank figured out today that I need a total of 76 window boxes to completely line the decks, both lower and upper. We’ve got all the railings built to hold them, so it’s not like I could quit now! Last year, I think I only had about 50, because the railing wasn’t all done.

But it’s really hard work to get these ready. I can do 6 to 12 of the little buggers before my back starts to ache and hurt. I’m up 36 completed boxes now.

Frank built me another rack for boxes and lights, and I still need yet another if I’m going to have them all under lights. I should have started earlier, and I’m regretting it already. Although (I rationalize to myself), our last freeze date is usually the end of May, so if I can get them all planted by the end of April, they’ll still have a month to grow and look pretty, bloom, get strong, before I put them all out. He’s made these racks like a brick shithouse, he admits. But I like them nice and sturdy like this. These window boxes are heavy, even with the container-specific soil mix I’m using. Dirt and water — heavy! Then we hang shop-lights with grow light tubes in the top.

Wouldn’t it be nice, though, to find a beautiful hangy flowering thing that was a perennial? But I think I’m only saying that because I’m wiped from doing 12 boxes today. Really, it’s enjoyable. When I lived in the desert, I couldn’t really do many annuals because it was too hot and sunny for most of them, and we were always having to ration water, so what few ones I did always shrivelled up and died.

I’m going to go look through my pictures of last year’s deck to remind myself why I do this. I remember enjoying just coming home and seeing them lining the deck, what a pretty view they gave as you drove up to the house. And relaxing out on the deck smelled wonderful, with all the flowers all around.

Ok, that’s better. They do look great, and that was without the pond in and the landscaping finished. I can now imagine how they’ll look with that whole side yard looking gorgeous all by itself, and the cascading flowers will be the finishing touch.

I’m going to be out of town most of next week — I’ll have to call Frank twice a day to get him to water for me. It takes almost a full half-hour to water these guys. Although once we get them out on the deck, we’re running irrigation tubes down under the edge of the railing top piece so that watering them is merely turning on the right zone. Last year, the ones that didn’t do so hot (like the lobelia) were because they weren’t watered enough, and consistently enough. Once they dried out even a little bit, they never recovered. And on top of that, when we went through a really rainy spell, the petunias got gooey and just disintegrated, turned into colored slime, yuck. So I didn’t plant many regular petunias for just that reason, this year, although I am doing some double petunias.

The weather outside is in the 50s during the day, but it’s still around 25 for a low each night. I’ve been putting some of my wintered-over things out on the deck during the day, but I can’t leave them out there all night yet.

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