My husband and I built our house in 1985, the year our son was born. Because we were so poor, we built as little as we thought we could get by with, the idea being that we could always add onto it later. We built a super-simple, no-frills house with two bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, a laundry room, and a living room.
Over the years, we gradually added four more bedrooms (the original two bedrooms were turned into a home office and a music room), another bathroom, a workshop, a garage, and — the best part — a screen porch, which is something I’d wanted forever. The cats, as you can see from the pictures below, think we built it entirely for their amusement.
The problem, we quickly discovered, was that our cats would sit on the catwalk inside the porch, and our neighbor’s cat — who was home alone all day and apparently got kind of lonely — would come over to our house and try desperately to get into our porch. He would jump up and hurl himself at the screens, tearing holes in them with his claws. I got the bright idea that if we put window boxes on all the windows, they would work as cat deflectors, and keep him from inflicting any further damage on the screens.
So our son built eight window boxes, one for each window, and attached them to the outside of the porch. I’ve grown lots of different things in them over the years, but this summer I decided to go with just marigolds. They are easy to grow, hard to kill, thrive on neglect, and bloom enthusiastically from early summer until autumn’s first frost. Now that the weather has turned cold, their days are numbered, so I had my daughter go out and take some pictures of them while they were still blooming cheerfully.