Time to get the flowers and soil. Off to Lowes I go (again). Just how much dirt should I get for two 60″ window boxes? I figured more is better, I’d always use it somewhere. So, I proceed to pile up my cart with the big (and, heavy) bags of potting soil. About 4 bags into it I stop and ponder….. I wonder how heavy the dirt will be once I fill the window boxes? Hmmmm. And, how about when I have to water them??? A pause in my project momentum for sure.
This is something Elke (my Partner) would refer to as, “Mb’s way”. That is, when I get this “great idea” (usually a house project) and immediately move into action. Shopping around, getting everything I need and excitingly and quickly getting started on the project. Full force in.
Sometimes (well, maybe more than just “sometimes”), I don’t consider some pretty important things. And, this is where I get myself into a little trouble. Like, the time I decided I could remove the shower tile and bathtub myself. Definitely another story with details in a future blog. But, it is one of those examples….full force in. It really was coming along for a while…..
But then, I ran into a “few” problems. And, in with the necessary troops…
In retrospect it’s pretty funny and we definitely laugh about it today. But, Elke was not so happy having to “hose down” in the back yard as part of her daily shower routine. As you might imagine, a “little” household tension.
Ok, anyway, back to Lowes standing there pondering the weight of dirt and just HOW much weight the house could hold with two 5 ft. window boxes filled with dirt, flowers and, assuming I wanted the flowers, water.
Instead of just moving forward and buying the soil, filling the boxes and “seeing how it goes”, (cause I had indeed learned a bit from previous mistakes), I thought it best to get more information about the weight of the dirt BEFORE proceeding. So, I Googled it, as I do most things I wondered about these days. Here’s what Google had to say…..
Soil, depending on moisture content, weighs in the neighborhood of 75 to 100 pounds per cubic foot, so you need to calculate the Volume (total content of your box) by multiplying the L (in feet) x W (in feet) x D (in inches converted to feet fractions) to get your total cubic feet and then multiply that by 100 (use the greatest weight) to get the total weight that will be on that roof.
So, 5 (Length) x 1 (width) x .8 (Depth) x 100 = 400 (total weight). I have no idea if I did that correctly but I think that means there would be 400 lbs of weight per window box!? Regardless of whether I calculated right it was going to be a LOT of weight! Ut Oh.
I hate Google sometimes!!!!
I immediately go into, improvise mode (something my Mom instilled in me pretty well). Hmmm, I wonder if anyone would notice if I used fake flowers? We wouldn’t need dirt with fake flowers, right? Soooooo, back home I go to get on my computer as I now needed Google in a much bigger way. Research.
Feeling excited again about my “save” and the re-gained likely success of my project, I proceed to buy various types, colors, and seasons of artificial outdoor flowers.
Turns out I wasn’t really comfortable just buying the flowers via Amazon even though they have an amazing return policy. I wanted to meet the flowers, look at them, feel them. Most importantly, I needed to assess the potential for people believing that the flowers in our window boxes were real. JoAnne Fabrics had a great selection (and, sale) so, there I was spending lots of time putting various flowers and color combinations together in a 60″ space on the floor at JoAnne fabrics. I bought MANY. A couple seasons worth. This was necessary if I was to successfully pull this off.
I also bought styrofoam to lay across the bottom of the boxes, where the base of the flowers would be stabilized. It’s the “dry” styrofoam (in pics below) which remain relatively dry and do not retain much water.
I go home and begin to put it all together. Cutting the foam to fit within the window boxes, pretty much covering the entire bottom of each box. I lay out the flowers in two 60 ” (ish) patterns on the living room floor first so I could confirm the flower order and combinations. I was all set. :-). From the living room windows I had full access to the flower boxes. Nearly finished!
I arrange, re-arrange, and finish. Go outside, look at them from across the street. Great! I think they look quite real and am pretty proud of myself for not having potentially torn off the side of the house with 800 lbs. of window box dirt for real flowers.
Finally, I look at the window boxes from the living room windows, and realize that anyone looking at them from inside the house would definetly know they were artificial flowers. You could totally see the styrofoam. This shot is looking straight down on the flower box where you can pretty easily see the white styrofoam……
Off to Lowes I go. I knew pretty immediately that mulch would be a good “cover”. It was light in weight and dark in color. Great to hide the styrofoam. Here’s the same shot with the mulch…… Much better.
Done!! 🙂 🙂
In the following days and weeks there were all sorts of positive feedback from friends and neighbors. Always good to hear. They couldn’t believe the “natural green thumb” I had. I’m amazing!
Then, one day…………………
Our neighbors from across the Street, Nick and Jim, long time Partners who have been in their house for many years and with whom we’ve developed a nice friendship (inclusive of lots of fun/loving teasing about all sorts of things), happen to drop off another box of chocolates we’re addicted to. I need to digress here for a moment because there really is something about these chocolates, my absolute favorite! Kirkland’s brand (Costco, yes, Costco), “Macadamia Clusters, Salted Caramel, Milk Chocolate”. AMAZING.
Anyway, after having dropped off the container of chocolates and on his way down the stairs……… he (Nick) touched the low hanging vine! He touched the vine!!!
My cover was blown. And, as you might imagine, I’ve not heard the last of it (in a fun/loving way, that is). Since then, I decided I needed to “come clean” with the other neighbors and everyone seems quite forgiving and still appreciative of the beautiful “flowers”.
- Cost; Approx. $200 on many artificial flowers (a few seasons worth), mulch $10. Total approx. $210.
- Savings; Not sure about this one but likely saved some money in the long run as the artificial flowers will last many seasons.
- Time; Approx. 5 hours including the research and trips to Lowes.
- Stress level; Low (for the most part).
- Fun level; Relatively high
- Do it again assessment; Yes.