It wasn’t until trying to grow things in windox boxes that I appreciated just how many factors need to be taken into consideration. Soil, drainage, sun position, season, watering, prevailing wind, type of plant, pruning/deadheading and the time available are all some that immediately come to mind and that’s to say nothing of colour schemes and looks. It’s a lot for the novice gardener to think about.
Naivity helped a lot to start with. A wide range of plants were purchased from garden centres and planted with a best guess as to how they would perform. Once the boxes were out the reality of sun/shade and wind/rain became particularly clear. One position gets sun only in the early morning and only on the longer days of the year. At this time of the year (late November) it hasn’t seen the sun in a couple of months and might be lucky if it does before late Spring. The lazy Autumn sun just doesn’t get above the surrounding houses until mid morning and then scoots behind the building, never to return.
Likewise the wind, everything from a warm breeze to a bone-chilling gale, was something I really didn’t consider before planting. In fact I think I may have written a note saying that a couple of boxes were unlikely to get any wind at all! How wrong I was! More than any other factor the strength of the wind, and its capacity to detroy any plant above six inches has played a large part in my selection of Spring bulbs and will do again when the time comes to look at Summer bedding plants.
Books and internet pages can offer a bit of help but there’s no substitute for on-the-job learning to get to grips with the local conditions. Here’s hoping this experience gets put to good use by next year.