The Windowboxes at Trinity 2012

by Patrick Muir on December 1, 2012

The most impactful part of my nursing home garden has to be the 12 window boxes that line the two large canopied balconies on either side of the entrance. You may remember that each box is lovingly cared for by my garden fanatic bus driver, Todd, who pinches back, fertilizes, holds  off bugs and waters to put on a gorgeous display for the enjoyment of our residents and visitors.

This year I invited  Todd to join me in selecting this year’s selections which I could sense meant a lot to him and we had a ball. It’ s a little daunting to create so many combos at one time. We tried to reuse the best combos but it was hard to find all of them this year like ‘Fortunia Pink Picotee’.

One big difference than last year, we invited some of our residents to help plant the boxes which was so much more rewarding for all involved.


So with no further adieu, here are the best at this moment in time (Can’t you hear Whitney singing in the background. Such a loss for us all)

I love Angelonis but it seems like hit or miss proposition even under the same brand name like Angelface. Why do seed companies continue to group plants of such varying performances and appearances? Why should I trust any of their brand names?

Doesn’t this calibrachoa variety look like a blue ribbon  winner.? We’ll see it keeps up this kind of result as i t come back in flushes.

This year I swore I wouldn’t grow any coleus since they are so unpredictable. My nursery grew 28 different varieties this year and I soon found out they are one of Todd’s favorites so I caved and sometimes they look  “sexy” on the bench when paired with another plant. Can you tell I live in a nursing home and  not getting any action when I find a plant sexy?

Doesn’t this ‘Molten Coral’ look for all the world like three Japanese Maples being attacked by Creeping Jenny? I hope it will stand up to that creepy girl.

I’m sure most of you know this is one of the Kong family series. When I got home I said you idiot, you know this series can include some  whooping beasts. But we’ll have to see if Todd can play Fay Ray and keep the beast in check. Sorry Todd for such a I’m manhood challenging comparison.


Patrick's Garden

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy and Steve June 21, 2012 at 3:45 am

Patrick, it is so good to see you back in blogland… I love your window boxes! Tell Todd that if he pinches the tops back of his beloved coleus, you will reconsider your hard stand against them. Also, pinch off the flower spikes. That will keep them under better control. I have to confess, I do enjoy coleus myself!


Patrick July 1, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Todd is a master at all the skills you’re talking about and I’m sure he’ll have them looking great at the end of the season. Just 5 out of 12 seems a little much to me.


thanh June 21, 2012 at 6:34 am

I love the container combos and that you invited others to share in the joy of gardening. I’ve found gardening to be very therapeutic too. You guys did a great job! Absolutely beautiful.


Patrick July 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Yes having some residents help has made the whole program richer. We had 3 this year hopefully more in the future.


Layanee June 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Great job on the window boxes. Enjoyment for all. Hope all is well with you now.


Patrick July 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Thanks Layanee. Feeling great tonight. No more hospital stays in my future plans.


Melanie June 22, 2012 at 9:28 am

Patrick. .your window box displays are absolutely GORGEOUS!! Wish I could tend to mine like that. .my containers always look pathetic!! Glad you are back at it!!


Patrick July 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Hey Melanie,
Glad to be back. I vow never to be gone for so long. Thanks for the kudos.


Christina June 25, 2012 at 1:23 am

Great to have you back, commenting in the blogosphere. I’m with Todd, I like Coleus but I thought they did better in shade, your boxes look at if they’re in full sun. Anyway enjoy the boxes, they are growing well and look great. Christina


Patrick July 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Hey Christina,
Good to be back. Our coleus include both sun and shade varieties. But sometimes we push the envelope by mixing them up with mixed results but with quick fixes made easily. Thanks for the kind words.


Tanya @ Lovely Greens June 26, 2012 at 9:03 am

They all look gorgeous Patrick – you and Todd have done an amazing job! My favourite is the last one which I find really unusual.


Patrick July 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Thanks, Tanya. We make a great team for the benefit of our community. And it is so much fun.


Ray @ A Leafy Indulgence June 26, 2012 at 10:20 am

I agree with Cathy and Steve. I grow a Kong Red coleus very well (in the ground), and pinching it back makes it think it’s a ‘bonsai.’ I wish my potted plants looked as good as yours. After three years of trying, it’s one area I still have not mastered.


Patrick July 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Hey Ray,
The Kong bonsai? I know what you mean. After many years of experience, Todd and I have a lot to share.


Jennifer@threedogsinagarden June 27, 2012 at 7:00 am

Patrick, The window boxes look fantastic. I like the Coleus with the Creeping Jenny especially.


Patrick June 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm

That’s my favorite too but we’ll see what it looks like at the end of summer, won’t we?


Linda Phillips June 27, 2012 at 8:51 am

I love your window boxes.

I gave up on coleus, even though I love it. Takes too much water. And, water is something we’re in short supply of here in Texas. We do so need rain.

Thanks for dropping by my garden blog.


Patrick June 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Hey Linda,
Sorry to here of your personal travails. Unfortunately, I think you’re on the cutting edge of what will be a nationwide problem down the road.


MrBrownThumb June 28, 2012 at 10:04 am


It’s awesome that you’re helping beautify the nursing home with helping plant some gardens there. Keep up the good work.


Patrick July 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Hey MBT,
I appreciate all the heartfelt comments.


Sue July 2, 2012 at 12:13 am

Love all the boxes, but especially the blue calibrachoa. I must be the only person in the world that has no luck with them—everyone raves about them. Mine seem to get “buggy” and chewed up.
It’s amazing how gardening gets people involved. The residents look like they’re really enjoying helping out. And I could use a Todd around here , maintaining the pots!


Patrick July 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Hey Sue,
Todd is so busy and he can even have 16hr days carting us all around so he finds himself too exhausted to go online and see how he is the co-star of Patricks’ Garden. So Todd if you’re reading this I say many thanks to you dude for enabling my obsession.


Todd July 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Well thank goodness I dont have a wife anymore or anyone for that matter or I might have been out honky tonkin instead of sitting in front of the boob tube on a Friday night on surfing the net which brought me here. LOL But I have to also be into work early Saturday to do some more carting around so I stay home and get rest when I can. Halfway thru the year and over 300 hours overtime. Didnt even put in a garden at my moms this year because I dont have the time to care for it. As far as enabling your obsession…not a problem! I have the same illness! ;D


Pauline July 2, 2012 at 12:45 am

Glad to have you back with us Patrick. Your window boxes look stunning and how wonderful that you had your band of helpers this time, I know you will all get a feeling of pride every time they look at them this summer, my favourite is your blue one!


Patrick July 4, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Hey Pauline,
Yes the merry band made it more meaning full. Todd organized it while I was in the hospital. Kuddos Todd. Thanks for stopping by.


Alistair July 2, 2012 at 3:21 am

Hi Patrick, good to see you back, your Coleus really do look s—-I better not give you any encouragement, although I agree with you. Well, I am an old geezer.


Patrick July 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Hey Mister Geezer,
Good to be back, AlistairTodd is a major pincher. Never seen anyone better. Even me in my old life, long, long,long ago.


Shirley July 2, 2012 at 7:30 am

Patrick, those window boxes are gorgeous! I’m so glad to have found your inspiring blog and will share this with other local gardeners.

Your thoughtful comment on my blog is greatly appreciated.


Patrick July 8, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Thanks so much Shirley. I’m glad to have found you as well. I’m thrilled to have found a pal in what I consider to be one of prettiest parts of the country.


PlantPostings July 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm

The window boxes are beautiful, Patrick. And it is fun to see everyone getting involved and enjoying the planting and tending. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog!


Patrick July 5, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Thanks PP. Getting the residents involved seems to have struck a chord with the blogosphere. I knew you would I need to show the residents their pix.


The Sage Butterfly July 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

These are some of the most beautiful flower boxes I have ever seen. The Creeping Jenny really adds so much to each one. I can see the love and care on the faces of the residents….what a great idea to include them in making such beauty.


Patrick July 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Hey Sage,
I’m a big fan of your work so I really does mean a lot to hear these type of compliments. I do love the blue box now I’ve just taken a second look at 10 times.


Mark and Gaz July 8, 2012 at 10:20 am

Lovely boxes and great to get the residents involved as well.


Patrick July 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Thanks guys. Todd and I look forward to getting more involved.


Toni - Signature Gardens July 8, 2012 at 10:45 am

Beautiful containers!!! Just love the Kong coleus :-) I have found that the Serena series of Angelonia is more reliable. How wonderful and therapeutic to have the residents help out :-)


Patrick July 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hi Toni, Thanks for the kudos. Now let’s see if we can get through the summer. Looking like a scorcher.


Dee Nash (@reddirtramblin) July 10, 2012 at 5:52 am

Patrick, you made me laugh at all your asides. Those combos are really nice. I think the Archangel series of Angelonia is pretty good, but I just planted some in the heat. Will let you know if they even survive. I had a bare spot. I love that little coleus you planted with creeping Jenny. I think it will definitely keep up. Let me know how the dark purple calibrachoa does. I think it’s a plant I’ve tried before.

I replied to your comment about the fruit trees on my blog. I think it’s a splendid idea, and I went into more detail about espalier there. I don’t know if you saw it.~~Dee


Patrick July 15, 2012 at 8:43 am

Hey Dee,
Good to hear I made you laugh. I’d always prefer someone laughing with me as opposed to people laugh at me. My mind it running laps around my childhood experiences. Regarding the Japanese maple coleus, it going gangbusters against the creeping jenny. Will show pix soon.


Rosie Gan July 15, 2012 at 7:32 am

Good combos, and I’m also adding coleus again in my garden after a long time, I do enjoy your post, you got me chuckling to myself!


Patrick July 15, 2012 at 8:50 am

So many new coleus cultivars made it hard to stay on the sidelines. But next year more petunias than coleus in 2013. Sounds weird to already say 2013.


Jayne July 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I am partial to coleus as they will take shade, which I have in great supply.


Patrick July 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm

No, I’m not beating up on coleus. I just think 5 of 12 is too much. I still love ‘em.


Patrick August 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Hey Girl.
At their current performance, they will be rare.
Thanks for stopping.


Todd July 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Thanks to everyone for their kind words. I have been married twice and made fresh flowers a important ingrediant in showing my love. Nothing finishes off a tray when serving breakfast in bed to your wife then a fresh cut flower laid next to the plate. Well…in my mind it did anyway. Guess I was the only one who thought so. So I am left to give my love to my passion…flowers! Well…that and my cherry red Mustang GT! LOL
Patrick and I are the same age. I have had two back surgeries including a fusion of my L4 and L5 vertebrae. It turned out alright and I can live a relatively normal life. A lot of pain now and then because I overwork myself but I realise after meeting you Patrick that I could have easiely been in the same position as you and ended up the same as yourself. Knowing all that is why I dont mind being a tool or your hands for you. I only wish I had more hours in a day or equal parts of driving and gardening then we would have a real show to put on!


Patrick August 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm

you are the co-star of PG, Keep driving the bus but keep watering my plants,


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