Flower Bed Contest First Place
We recently had an opportunity to visit the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky, and my idea for a flower bed was inspired by the Rainbow Gardens there. We were there in winter, so we did not see them in bloom, but I could imagine how beautiful they must look in summer. I decided it would be nice to have our own rainbow of flowers here.
Since I already have a flower bed, I decided to work with that and add an accent wall with flower boxes built on it in the shape of a rainbow. I recruited my older sister to help me build it. We made the wall 5 feet (1.5 m)tall and 8 feet (2.5 m) long by screwing 1×4 boards on three 2×4 legs/supports. We spaced the boards about 2 inches (5 cm) apart, and left 6 inches (15 cm) empty at the bottom so we could screw the three legs onto my existing flower bed. And to make it more sturdy, we added three supports from the top of the wall in the back down to stakes in the ground. Everything was screwed thoroughly, as we get very strong winds.
We then made fourteen rectangular boxes out of plywood. I wanted a double row of flowers for the rainbow; that made seven boxes in each row. The bottom row of boxes we made 12 x 13 inches by 6 inches deep (30 x 33 x 15 cm). The top row was smaller, 9 x 12 by 8 inches deep (23 x 30 x 20 cm). Next we drilled several drainage holes in the bottoms of all of them. We then screwed them firmly onto the wall in the shape of a rainbow.
The original flower bed is not painted; its boards are weathered gray. I did not want to paint the new part either, but, to make the wooden boxes more waterproof, I oiled them inside.
The next step was to fill them with soil and plant the flowers. For the red, orange, yellow, green, purple, and pink, I used petunias. For the blue, I used lobelias. The rest of the original flower bed I filled with an informal mix of Wave Petunias, marigold, sweet William, asters, and dahlias. The latter three were kind of an experiment, as I had never grown them before. In the two tall planters at either side of the bed, I planted marigolds as well.
The summer was very hot and dry, so I had to water the flowers almost every day.