11 ideas for adorning your home with window boxes

Window boxes offer an elegant place to grow flowers and plants. They look beautiful from the outside and can also be enjoyed from the inside. Here are eleven ideas for dressing up your windows with flower boxes.

11 ideas for adorning your home with window boxes

Window boxes are for everyone

Every house has windows, so practically every house can have window boxes.

  • Make sure you can reach window boxes easily, because they need frequent watering in hot weather.
  • Replanting window boxes is a breeze if you use removable plastic liners that are slipped inside more decorative boxes.
  • Change plants in keeping with the seasons. Start in spring with pretty primroses, switch to petunias or impatiens in summer, and shift gears in fall by plugging in dwarf chrysanthemums or ornamental kale.

In addition, small vegetables, herbs, and all of the annuals that thrive on decks or patios will work in window boxes.

1. Let them spill

The most beautiful window boxes include plants that trail over the edges.

  • Cascading or trailing plants, such as lobelia, ivy, periwinkle, petunia and nasturtium, are very attractive additions that do a great job of softening the edges.

2. Crowd them in

Window boxes look best when they're bursting with plants, so keep plants close together.

  • Crowded plants need extra water and fertilizer, which you can provide together if you use water-soluble plant food.

3. Grow window box veggies

Dwarf tomatoes or peppers can grow in a sunny spot on your balcony or your windowsill. You can combine them with your favourite herbs, such as compact basil or curly parsley.

4. Grow savoury snippings

If you have a sunny kitchen window, grow herbs such as thyme, chives, parsley, sage or sorrel in your window box, along with leafy lettuce and other salad greens.

5. Always start fresh

Start fresh each season.

  • A window box's soil quickly becomes exhausted, so replace it annually with a fresh supply.
  • Dump the old soil in an outdoor flowerbed or scatter it over your lawn.

6. Keep colour year-round

In winter, when your window box flowers are finished, fill the boxes with dried flowers from your garden or artificial greenery in muted colours.

7. Measure before you buy or build

You can find window boxes in a range of sizes or build them to fit, but you can't change the size of your windows.

  • Install any needed hanging hardware before you fill the boxes with potting soil – the best time to make adjustments if the fit is not right.

8. Make a mini-greenhouse

To convert a window box into a mini-greenhouse, bend three or four lengths of coat-hanger wire into U-shaped hoops and push the ends into the soil.

  • To cover, simply punch small holes in a dry cleaning bag and wrap it around the box before putting it back at the window. Or cover the hoop with a piece of bubble wrap and hold it in place with clothespins.

9. Recycle and reuse

Give fruit crates a second life by using them as window boxes.

  • You may need to install support posts to hold up their outer edges or prop them up with sturdy sticks gathered from the woods.
  • Ask your grocer for wood crates used to pack oranges, grapes or peaches.
  • If you attach screw eyes to the corners and tie on pieces of string, you can use the crates as containers for hanging plants, too.

Check the sturdiness of the crates before using them to ensure they won't disintegrate when you add the weight of soil and flowers.

10. Wood's the word

Window boxes made of cedar, redwood or other rot-resistant lumber insulate plant roots from heat and cold better than metal or plastic.

  • Paint them a light colour on the outside to reflect heat, or use a water-sealing product.
  • Use a plastic or metal liner to keep the wood from rotting and warping from prolonged contact with wet soil.

11. Anticipate the sun

Insulate the sunny side.

  • If a window box will cook in hot afternoon sun, insert a sheet of Styrofoam or thick corrugated cardboard before filling it with soil.
  • You can also set a smaller box inside the larger one and pack the space between the two with peat moss.

Keeping the soil cool will promote more vigorous growth.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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