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Their deck has bloom built in.

Their deck has bloom built in

A steep hillside drops abruptly away beneaththis deck, leaving the structure itself about the only place where flowers can grow. Thanks to good design, the flowers grown here give an impression of profusion without taking up much space. Most of the annuals you see here actually grow outside the rail in long planter boxes that completely line the deck. But this perimeter bloom is fattened up considerably with container plants set into angles and corners inside the rail.

To keep the boxes light, Portland gardenerJuanita Dickson filled them with a mixture of peat, garden soil, vermiculite, and sand--renewed every two years. She enriches it with timed-release complete fertilizer at the beginning of each planting season, adding liquid complete fertilizer once in the middle of the season.

Four years old when these photographswere taken, the deck was designed by Mrs. Dickson's daughter, Elizabeth Dickson Fetsch, with help from the Sunset book How to Plan & Build Decks (Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, Calif., 1980; $6.95). It was her first such project.

The deck is all cedar, treated with pentachlorophenolwhen it was built, then scrubbed with a chlorine bleach solution and coated with a waterproof sealer three years later. Though the deck has held up well, the planter boxes are showing some signs of decay; removing the soil each winter and treating the boxes with wood sealer would make them last longer.

Photo: Adrift in bloom, angleddeck has flowering annuals massed in 8- by 8-inch boxes outside its rail (left) and in containers tucked into corners inside rail (below). The plants are petunias; French, African, and tiny signet marigolds; pelargoniums

Photo: Deck rails are spaced so gardener can workin planter boxes from deck side (bank below is very steep). Annuals are all from seedlings

Photo: In corners, small stackable triangularplatforms, each about 7 inches tall, hold container flowers at different heights

Photo: This deck is in full bloom summer and fall.With flowers growing on both sides of rail, it seems to emerge from a planting bed
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Mar 1, 1987
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