In an effort to beautify my front yard, I’ve been wanting to add some window boxes to the second story; unfortunately, the secondary story windows of my house walk right onto the roof of the porch, meaning there’s no room for traditional window boxes. In scanning the local big box stores for inspiration, I came up with a mid-weight alternative to “pretty-up” the house.
I purchased heavy-construction plastic containers and filled them will a combination of Styrofoam and top soil to keep the weight down. Had I used only top and/or garden soil, I would be looking at 80+ pounds per container, which would be heavy on a tar-paper roof. First, I broke a large piece of foam into random sections of about 3″x5″ for the lower 2/3 of the containers.
Then, I filled the top 1/3 with top soil, compressing it with my hands as much as I could, and as you can see. This means that each planter (even filled with plants) is just under 30 pounds, light enough that I’m not worried about them on the roof and heavy enough that strong winds will not carry them away.
I filled the boxes with petunias and set them on the roof centered on the two windows–not an easy feat when Orange Cat was looking at the screen-less windows doing his best to head out on the roof. The second-story petunias are a bit too small at this point to be seen from the sidewalk, but I now get to wake up with happy pink and purple petunias right out my window.
I can’t take credit for the the Styrofoam idea as I know I saw it on Martha Stewart at one point. I believe she used packing peanuts, but I didn’t have any and a large block of foam was much cheaper. I may have to add a bit more soil as it compresses with rain, but that’s easy enough.
In the end, J— was just happy that I started and completed this project while he was as work, so he didn’t get stuck cleaning up.