Monday, July 15, 2013

Window Box Doldrums

Why do I feel like a wastrel when lying abed on a sunny Sunday afternoon, nose to book, and somehow industrious when doing the same while basted and splayed out at the beach?  

This has nothing to do with the subject at hand, yet again renovating the window boxes, but it's a stuck thought that needed to shake lose.

Note the pink geraniums in the lead photo. These are fake.Geraniums, as you may or may not know, do not do well in 90 degree weather. They stay green, even flourish in their greenness, but are hard pressed to put out more than a measly flower or two between June and September -- at least in the tropical heat that smothers Washington, DC each summer. 

And so, we make do. The Prince and I took a highly organized trip to the Maryland suburbs yesterday, first to the fantasia that is Homestead Gardens to look for pond plants, then to Michael's for fake flowers, then to Pet Whatsis for a dozen feeder fish* for the pond.

We're late with the fish business since our little garden again became an aviary this spring with successive bird births and if the pond is not covered during this period, well, tragedy inevitably ensues. 

Of course, tragedy also occurs with fish, when one allows one's prince to tend to one's pond--though I am never one to assess blame.

So here we are in July and the five frontal boxes look good, if a little dull, with small leafed ivy dripping over the sides and green potato vine beginning to cascade down the front, but there's little of natural color -- just pops of purple wandering jew, some no-account coleus, and several experiments that are a complete waste of water. My red fauxberries are doing fine, as one would expect of fakes.


Fine, but a little dull

 Michael's supplied the following -- a couple of bunches of pink geraniums, and some little purple stuffs and these pink nubbins. All at 70% off -- so for like 6 bucks, replenishment. Dirt cheap is FINE for this sort of job, just look for reasonably natural colors  -- and don't fret the leaves, rip them off if they're too tacky. These blooms are about to borrow from reality.

The trick to effective fakery is to break the bunches apart so individual florets can be cleverly dropped into appropriate locations -- like next to the actual doing nothing geraniums, thusly:

Not Enough
Now one steps back and says -- NOT ENOUGH -- and sticks a few more stems in. And voila!

Repeat process with howevermany boxes you have and done. If one were really anal, one would move the flowers about each week as if they're actually blooming. One is not. 
*Feeder fish are what I suppose pet shops consider junk. Variously colored and frequently quite pretty, they are served to snakes and whatnots; lagniappes before the rodent course. They happen to be cheap. I bought a dozen for $3. And if the Prince doesn't do these in, they'll grow to impressive size, live for years, and be just as uninterested in me as those fancy koi the racoons got.

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