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Box your Luscious Flowers! By Anne Valgoi

Here she is again, Anne Valgoi, our floral/entertaining contributor for the Mezza with her tips and creative ideas for Planting your flowers in Boxes for the Spring!!!

BOX YOUR LUSCIOUS FLOWERS!

May is the month of flowers: flowers for Mother’s Day, weddings, graduations and birthdays.  I recently spent a glorious day working in our yard, pulling weeds, turning the soil and “playing in the dirt”.  Many of us are busy planting summer annuals as well as beautiful, lush flower boxes. 

Flower boxes, if done properly, can add curb appeal to your home.  I personally look forward to changing my decorative box arrangements every summer and winter here in Atlanta!  If your home or condo is not conducive to flower boxes, then take advantage of large planter pots to create a similar exquisite effect. 

Foremost, it is important to clean or paint your flower boxes every season since they will be viewed by many.   I remove all potting soil from the previous season and replace with a fresh selection.  This is a critical step in my opinion, and it will allow your plants/flowers to better flourish.  I usually purchase the potting soil that has fertilizer already mixed in.  You can also buy a unique potting soil that has a formula that will help retain moisture; I often utilize this selection during the hot summer months. 

Before heading to Pike’s, Home Depot, or your favorite local nursery, be sure you know the approximate number of direct sun hours that the plants will receive in the flower box or planter pot location.  This detail is essential for you to select the appropriate flowering plants.  These flowers are an investment so utilize this information for best success. 

For me, I love to pop color in our window box.  I have tried many color combinations, but I am always drawn towards red which shows nicely against our white brick house.  Geraniums are a family favorite.  It is a must to add some cascading flowers or various ivy (variegated and non-variegated) to your box or planter.  This creates some additional interest as well as color and texture.  Some plants that are perfect for window boxes include sweet potato vines, coleus, petunias, creeping jenny, dusty miller, fuchsia, impatiens, and snapdragons.  It’s best to plant the taller flowers in the back of the box with the shorter flowers in the front and the cascading flowers on the sides or in the front for best visual results.

Water every other day especially when you first plant and then a few times a week thereafter.  However, in the middle of the hot Atlanta summer, daily watering may be necessary.  I love to touch the soil daily to see if moisture is present and if it is absent, then I water. I also find that watering from my open window works best for me and my flower box!  Some of my friends fertilize their plants every few weeks in order to promote new blooms but of greater note, some flowers such as geraniums require periodic “deadheading” (the gardening term used for the removal of faded or dead flowers from plants).  Additionally, don’t be afraid to supplement your box or planter with some new flowers as needed especially if the weather is extreme. 

Flower boxes add beauty and significant interest to the area.  They can be show stoppers if done well.  I encourage you to try flower boxing this upcoming season, then pour yourself a tall glass of refreshing iced tea and enjoy your fabulous bloom creation.  Until next time!

-Anne Valgoi

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