A common way to use deck railing is to attach the flower boxes to the top of the railing and grow flowers in the boxes. There are other ways to utilise the railing for flower boxes and hanging planters. When doing so, consider how to get water and fertiliser to the plants.
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It's been said that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were simply a series of hanging planter boxes watered through an ingenious system of pipes. Create your own hanging garden. Use the deck railing to hang chains that support the flower boxes hanging down the sides of the railing on the outside of the deck. Plant trailing flowers in the boxes, such as bacopa, nasturtium, alyssum, lobelia and ivy geraniums in the boxes. As the flowers grow, they'll cover the siding of the deck in a mass of colour.
Wall of Flowers
Transform a rod iron railing into a wall of flowers. This is a more difficult challenge. It works on the same principle as filling a metal open-weave basket with sphagnum moss and planting flowers through the moss into the soil inside the basket. In this case, the rods of the railing are the basket. Wrap the rods on the outside with 1-inch chicken wire. Place sphagnum moss against the chicken wire. Fasten the chicken wire and the moss to the rods with floral wire if necessary. Place the flower boxes at the bottom of the railing. Fill with soil. Wrap the chicken wire around the boxes on the inside of the deck. Attach sphagnum moss to that chicken wire. There will be a gap as wide as the flower boxes between the two layers of chicken wire covered with moss. Fill the gap with potting soil. Plant flowers into the soil by snipping through the moss and the wire and putting the root ball through. Work from the bottom toward the top.
Extend the Railing
If privacy is an issue on one side of the deck, use the railing to extend the height of the railing so the deck is private or an unsightly view is blocked. Place the flower boxes at the bottom of the metal railing. Attach 6-foot plant stakes to the railing using plastic zipper locked fasteners. Fasten several times along the length of the stakes and once at the top. Plant hyacinth beans, black-eyed Susan vine, morning glories, sweet peas or other plants that will twine around the plant stakes and hide the view as they grow.
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