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Ivy geraniums on the deck railing.

Ivy geraniums on the deck railing

Post-mounted planter boxes make room for greenery without restricting floor space or views on this rooftop deck in Newport Beach, California.

A tight lot gave Elizabeth and Thomas Wolfe little garden space, so when they remodeled and added a deck, they fixed these planters to posts supporting their deck's 40-inch-high tinted acrylic railing.

The 14-inch-deep boxes are made with rough cedar 2 by 10's, butted together and nailed with 3-inch (10d) nails. Bottoms are pieces of 1-by-6 and 1-by-4 cedar, also nailed in place. Each box is sealed inside with asphalt emulsion and outside with oil sealer.

Five 3/4-inch holes drilled in the bottom provide drainage.

An inch down from the top of the rear panel, Mr. Wolfe routed a 3/4-inch-deep, 2-inch-wide groove to fit over the deck rail's 2-by-6 cap and help support the plant's weight. Then, working from the inside, he attached the box to the post with slightly angled 3-inch woodscrews.

In this mild coastal climate, ivy geraniums bloom almost continuously spring through fall. The Wolfes use a single 1-gallon plant per box, set in packaged potting soil mix. Plants are fertilized once a week with a mild liquid plant food and watered about twice a week.

Photo: Spilling from rough-sawn cedar planters, ivy geraniums add interest to see-through deck rail. Close-up (below) shows simple construction
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Date:Mar 1, 1984
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