On Saturday, my sweetie and I planted the marigolds and nasturtiums!

You see, when the deck was being constructed…

Wait, did I tell you about the deck? I didn’t tell you about the deck!

We have a new deck!

In the very last week of April, my sweetie got these great fellows to come and build us a deck that lines the south side of the house and the west side up to the back door. They left a sturdy foundation that she’s finishing with railings and stain and paint, but seriously, isn’t it great?

New Deck

I adore it! On Monday, I set up shop on the west side and enjoyed the sun while I wrote.

My "Outside Office"

Can you see the joy pouring out of me? Working in my “outside office” on a warm May afternoon settles me in this great place. I startled when a bird zipped by my head to fly toward nearby branches, singing to her nest and screaming at the cats. Immediately, my fluffy orange tabby brushed my hand to beg a quick pet and then headed down the closest staircase into the wood. I smiled, absolutely in love, and hoped that he was off to kill a mouse and not a bird.

But this is not an ode to the new deck! Back to the flowers!

As the deck was constructed, my sweetie saved these plastic containers from the trash pile. They held pounds and pounds of screws.

Screw Containers

She snagged them for planting seeds indoors!

Lesbian Law #2: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

That’s one law we don’t scoff!

On Saturday, the rain was falling when she surprised me with the containers and her plan. I secured my tea mug on the counter and sprinted for my seed packets.

My fingers had been itching to plant the nasturtiums and marigolds! I thought I needed to get materials, but my sweetie saved me a trip. We could start right now!

And we did.

First, we lined the bottom of the containers with some rock from our walkway. Drainage!

Rock in Planting Container

Then, we pilfered leftover soil from a pot where we’d planted a sad seedling that broke during transport and ended up dying.

Container with Dirt

Yes, potting soil is best and, if you have it on hand, use that to plant your seeds. I still didn’t want to go to the store, so I used what was available immediately. Since my garden soil is a 50/50 mix of topsoil and compost that I’m planning to plant directly, I think it will be okay.

I planted the seeds a half-inch deep and watered them in.

The clear lid of the container topped our little greenhouses. I’ll keep the lid fastened until the seeds begin to grow. Then, at the first sign of green, the lids will lift, allowing the seedlings some air and space to grow. (FYI – If you are playing at home, make sure to open the lids as soon as you see the first green of your seedlings. Without enough airflow, they will suffer from “damping off” and die from fungus. Icky-poopie!)

Greenhouse Boxes Complete

After I planted the nasturtiums, I read their seed packet (because I just do things like that sometimes). One step I missed was scarifying those seeds.

Whoops!

You can scarify seeds in a few different ways. I decided to soak the nasturtium seeds for 24 hours in warm water.

Six of the large nasturtium seeds were popped into a third plastic container with about a half-inch of water. The next day, they emerged softer, but not squishy. Their wrinkly surfaces poofed into smoother curves.

After fishing the seeds out of the container, I filled it with a layer of rocks and dirt and planted them right back where they scarified. To mark the difference, I wrote “Nasturtiums” on a strip of blue tape.

Greenhouse Boxes

Now, the seedling race begins. Will the scarified nasturtiums come up before the unscarified nasturtiums? What will happen with the marigolds? Did I plant enough of them?

You know, both marigolds and nasturtiums will look good on our deck.

Especially in my little “outside office.”