The Windowboxes at Trinity 2013

by Patrick Muir on October 25, 2013

Well my friends, once again I’m penning from my hospital bead after five days in ICU. My hip was so infected from a pressure wound gone awry that they took it out. It’s been a year in bed since this hospital gave me the three wounds that have put me in bed for the last year.  I had thought I was getting a skin graft on this final wound in January and back in my chair by end of February. But this hip is 10″ long by 5-6″ in places, so I’m fearful I may loose another year in my garden. So any prayers for recovery by frost free date (April 15) would be most appreciated.

Well seems like a great time to see what I was able to achieve from my bed with the help of the best damn gardening bus driver, Todd. So I’ll take lessons learned from these planters and the windowboxes from the previous post to craft an even better display next year. Have already captured the recipes for all these planters for planting next spring.

So for the first time ever you can see the front entrance in all its glory. Can you imagine how this looked five years ago when I started beautifying the campus. When life lands you in a nursing home at 43, one can fall into blaming God trap. But I choose to believe his Hand was at work when he placed me in a gardener’s paradise and the means to improve year after year as evidenced here:

I never did get the glamour shot of ‘King Tut’ amidst the salmon waves of Sunpatiens ‘Corona’ and a deeper orange from the series.Thought the wave effect worked well with the swaying plumes of Tut.

After two years of glorious performance, I’m just smitten with Fuchsia ‘Koralle’. But I stereotype fuchsia as an English hothouse flower. But nobody told Koralle she’s living in the shade of the prairie. C0ngrats to PW for  bringing her to the market. Will be in centerpieces of some windowboxes next year.

Torenia ‘Summer Wave Bouquet’ makes a gentle spiller and a wonderful foil for the hot red ‘Koralle’. Should we declare this stand as Fire-n-Ice?

Variegated ivy was a bit of a disappointment. Will have Todd focus on more foliar fertilizing next time around.


‘Dragon Wings’ doing its thing in the shadows with Creeping Jenny and an overwhelmed Mauve Sunpatiens.

A little Euphobia ‘Diamond Frost’ makes a nice vignette.Don’t you agree?

Another ‘Dragon Wing’ composition that relies on Pepporamia for a lot of bulk filler.


First time I’ve used ‘Baby Wing Pink Begonia with a pink Sunpatiens that bloomed profusely all season.

Will have to use ‘Baby Wing Pink’ in the windowboxes next year.

Add a nice little addition of texture was supplied by what we commonly call Tahitian Bridal  Veil back home in Australia.

Even my latest perils and a troubled future, I’m still very thankful for so much.I’m thankful for the ICU staff who have always had my back. My family and friends have been de-sensitized to the moniker ISU because of my frequent flyer status, so to speak. But I know being healthy enough to get out of it is always a gift.

Patrick's Garden

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason November 26, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Hi Patrick! I’m so sorry you’ve been having health problems, sounds like you’ve had a very tough time. Even so, you put together a lot of gorgeous containers. The begonia and creeping jenny look great, and I like the fuschias. The diamond star euphorbia and begonia are also a good combo. I hope you are better soon!


Patrick December 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Thanks for the good wishes, Jason. Glad you appreciated the combos.


New Hampshire Gardener November 28, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I think the most that we, as humans, can hope to do is be a bright spot and a blessing to others and you’ve done that for an entire nursing home full of people. The flowers are beautiful and I’m sure that everyone there noticed, every single day. That’s a job well done in anyone’s book. I hope you’ll be able to start all over again in April.


Patrick December 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I know that the gift of my designs does mean a lot to the residents and their guests. Just wish I had been able to enjoy it for myself. But there’s always next year…right?


New Hampshire Gardener December 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm



Donna November 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I feel so bad you have been having a rough year. One set back after another. I will pray that things turn for the better for you. I agree with NH Gardener. You have done a remarkable job, better than most able bodied gardeners. You have a designer eye and each of your creations are fantastic. The residents of the home should be very happy you do this to make their stay pleasant and beautiful.

I am looking for Baby Wing Pink next spring. That really is a stunning begonia. I never saw a variegated ivy so unproductive. I have it growing in my garden and it is aggressive. I got it in a floral arrangement and planted it outside in our climate. It goes bonkers each year. I have to keep cutting it back so it does not work its way into my neighbor’s yard.


Patrick December 3, 2013 at 11:58 am

Appreciate your constant words of support and encouragement. Can’t forget the prayer action. Sometimes I get frustrated that my opportunities to be creative are so limited but when I look at these type of complimentary comments about my designs, it does bring joy to my soul.


Pauline November 30, 2013 at 8:30 am

I’m so sorry to hear that you have been having such a tough time for so long now. The containers you have created with Todd are amazing, far better than any I put together. I will certainly remember you in my prayers, that you will be able to make more wonderful containers next year.


Patrick December 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Thank you for such kind words. I’ve already designed next year’s containers planning on Todd’s help. They’re cutting his hours so need to start planning for a replacement which really sucks but I’ve had him as a gift in my life going on four years.


Dee Nash December 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Oh Patrick, I’m just seeing this post. It makes me angry for you. I can be angry, can’t I? Okay, I just screamed a little. I can go on and enjoy your containers now. You have real talent for garden design. Containers are gardens in miniature, and you really put them together so well. I hope you’ll stop by and see my greenhouse today. Thank you for your kind words about my bulb vases. Gosh, they’re so expensive on eBay right now. Wait a bit and get more next summer and fall when they’re cheap. ~~Dee


Patrick December 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Thanks for sharing my pain, dear friend. I think my guardian angel helps me with anger management. My friends are amazed how I keep my spirits high and I must credit my blogging friends like you for constant inspiration.


snowbird December 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm

You amaze me with your cheeriness, I do admire you, I think I would be moaning my head off. Well done you that man!Hats off to you. You have my prayers, for what they are worth, and I wish you a speedy recovery and I am sending you all the luck in the world.
Your entrance looks


Patrick December 2, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Thanks for the best wishes, SB. I credit the Almighty for keeping me going in this 12 year odyssey since I was rendered a quadriplegic. Bloggers like yourself keep me inspired with your creativity and constant words of support.


snowbird December 11, 2013 at 6:59 pm

So…work the magic and sort the subscribe button…I never get email notifications of your posts,,,,it’s probably me…I have no clue how this stuff works…. xxxxx


Carolyn December 2, 2013 at 6:14 pm

You have my best wishes and prayers too. I am glad to see you putting together such a great post for your blog. I always feel exhilarated when I get one done so I hope it is a source of pleasure for you. Your combinations are lovely, what a way to contribute a little beauty to the days of everyone there.


Patrick December 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Appreciate your support, Carolyn. Will always take all the prayers for this wounded warrior. Yes my blog has always been part of my therapy.


Kimberley at Cosmos and Cleome May 17, 2014 at 4:20 am

I hope your fellow residents know how lucky they are to have you, Patrick! And how lucky you are to have Todd, who clearly knows a thing or two about plants! It’s all just beautiful.


Patrick June 5, 2014 at 11:09 pm

So sorry to report but Todd has left us and will be truly missed. Don’t know if I can pull this off without him.


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