Usually if I'm potting a plant (because the previous specimen died from severe travel neglect) I spread out newspapers and have a go at it. But I've been too assiduous about daily recycling, so I found myself sans papiers and avec a mess of flowers to plant as my Mother's Day treat to myself. The sign at the fleuriste on the quai de la Megisserie said "les geraniums -- le roi du balcon!" I just needed something perky that wouldn't die over the summer. I admit to agonizing a long time over the proper hue of salmon-pink to complement the kitchen.
After an initial attempt at taming the potting-soil monster and keeping my fingernails clean working in the cramped sink space, I threw in the towel and let the dirt fly.
I decided to put these geraniums on top of my garde-manger that's in a back air well. The tin roof of the garde manger slants to allow rainwater to drain off. Uh-oh. The planters looked as though they might slide off.
Necessity is the Mother of invention, and not just on Mother's Day. Mon astuce: old wine corks, sliced to perfection, are very handy for remedying the slant and keeping the window box level.
And voilà! Now when in the kitchen I can focus on the peachy geraniums in the window instead of the streaks on the stuccoed wall behind, which look like a blonde with her mascara running.
Happy Mother's Day to everyone who's celebrating it today, and especially to my Mom, who has recently begun to experience the joys of apartment life herself.
I'll plant some more window boxes in two weeks, when France celebrates Mother's Day. I'm contemplating morning glories.