It’s the time of year when I plant up my window boxes. This will be their 3rd summer season, after Mr MBaF very kindly made them for my birthday in 2014.
The boxes on the dark, north-facing, front of the house have always presented me with a bit of a challenge.
Last year trailing fuschias performed fairly well, particularly outside the upstairs (bedroom) windows, so I’ll be using them again up there.
But I’m taking a different approach in the darkest spot, outside the living room.
I’m going for greens.
I’ve been mulling over trying smaller-leaves hostas in there for a while. The challenge was that I know hostas like to have nice moist, rich, soil. But window boxes are prone to drying out, and already in the box are a couple of ferns, which like a lighter soil (I believe).
My solution has been to try creating a micro-environment that suits the hostas. So, I cut a deep bottom off two 2 litre plastic milk cartons, filled them with garden compost and manure, and plunged them into position in the boxes. The milk carton bottoms have a rectangular cross-section, which fits perfectly into the window box.
Then I split one of the smaller hostas from a collection I’ve been growing in a tin bath. Prizing the bugger from the bath was tricky, but splitting it was pretty easy – just a stomp down between the shoots, into the rootball, with my spade.
I planted the hosta-halves on top of/in the manured milk cartons, topped up with multipurpose compost mixed with garden compost, and hey presto.
I planted them a week or two ago, before any leaves had burst forth, and they’re already looking great.
Fingers crossed everyone plays nicely together and I have a verdent, fresh and jungly outlook from my living room all summer!