I finally took the bull by the horns this weekend – although it was much simpler and less life-threatening than actually grabbing a bull by the horns – and took the first steps to having wonderfully lush, colourful and striking summer window boxes. In contrast to the fading and unkempt boxes that were currently adorning my ledges.
The weather cleared up considerably on Sunday and so I spread the old Sunday papers across the table in an attempt to control the mess I was going to make (only partially successful) and made a quick inventory of what I needed.
Soil, moisture-retaining crystals and control-release fertiliser were first on the list. Then I got it into my head that I needed the soil to be more free draining so I went out an bought some Vermiculite. This is supposed to help with moisture retention and keep the soil light and less prone to compacting. At least that’s what the experts (and the back of the packet) say so who am I to argue?
The plan, if indeed there was a plan, was to start with one box and clean it out, removing the bulbs and winter bedding plants. I can feel experienced gardeners wincing as I say this but I intended to retain the soil and mix in some new soil with the crystals, vermiculite and fertiliser. At this point it felt more like a soup recipe than gardening!
Part 2 – tomorrow-ish