Friday, May 22, 2009

This Week in Window Boxes

I've been growing window boxes for about the last 15 years here at 2nd & Blanchard. Funny thing, though, I seem to be the only guy in Belltown doing it on any consistent basis. That's right, out of 11,000 people, I'm the only one doing this year after year. It's hard to believe. You'd think that at least one person would and that they'd do a way better job than me, but no.

I don't grow window boxes for any particular reason. It's like any activity from collecting butterflies to huffing furniture polish: it's something to do. Beauty is lost on this neighborhood unless everybody decides to make it beautiful. So far that hasn't happened. I doesn't matter. I'm not trying to inspire anybody. That's always a mistake.

OK, this year, two of my three boxes follow the traditional godetia-lobelia configuration. Trust me, I have varied plants in the past and lived to regret it. The worst of all was planting cosmos. I fed them steroids (Miracle Gro) and they got to be almost five feet high. Every time the wind came up, these huge plants (which blocked out all sunlight) acted as sails and, despite the safety wires, sent both boxes to the sidewalk below where they narrowly missed one of my crazy neighbors - repeatedly. Yeah, they blew down about five times and always fell around Kenny, which probably didn't do great things for his paranoia. This taught me that I should stick to the godetia-lobelia combination and that these boxes needed to be anchored down better. So that how it goes for the first two. The third is always an experiment. So far, results have been mixed. Last year's viola commutas did well, but this year's red flax-red/white and blue verbena combo is all red flax. It's like I never even planted the stupid verbena.

From right to left (my right to left), here are the boxes:

Yes, they've been growing for some time now; I planted them about a month and a half ago. But this is the first week that they've actually started to grow like crazy. By my experience, this will continue until they bloom in late July/early August. Till then, the lobelias, which are starters (IOW not from seeds that I planted in the ground with my own little hands) by the way, will be the only color. But rest assured, no matter how nice these boxes look, Belltown will still remain just as ugly as ever.

1 comment:

Jim said...

I think there are many good planter box plants whose blooming might be deterred by the presence of a huge, light-blocking Incense Cedar. Lobelia can handle some shade, as can Clarkia. Primroses would be good for late winter, early spring.