I’M SHOWING YOU the window box, above, one of two attached to the front windows of my rental apartment in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, not because I’m so very proud of it — they’re rather pedestrian, not to mention lopsided, but out of some documentary compulsion.
If you recall, this is what I started with in early May, below: pale white/lavender pansies, which I knew I’d have to replace in high summer, an interesting twisted juncus, vinca and bacopia vines, a hosta, and some angelina sedum. That, and high hopes.
As it happened, I did what I could on the fly on to keep them up on the infrequent occasions this summer when I spent time in Brooklyn. I had the help of my landlords, who kindly watered. I grabbed fill-in plants at the nearest hardware store, which turned out to be pink-red impatiens and begonias. I’ve done better in summers where I’ve actually been there to coddle, feed, and water, once even inspiring an entire block to follow suit.
Left to their own devices, the impatiens took over, the angelina sedum disappeared (not enough sun), and the bacopia and vinca drastically need cutting back. When I get back to Brooklyn tomorrow after more than a week away, who knows what I’ll find…but I think I’ll pick up a few mums or ornamental cabbages on my way to extend the season even further. After all, that’s what they sell those things for.