What is more quaint and magical than a window box filled with flowers? I love these boxes, however I admit it took me a while to incorporate them within my gardening — likely because I had been intimidated by their installation and didn’t wish to risk doing it incorrectly. However, for any homeowner with adequate DIY abilities, this is a great weekend project, and for all other people, a good carpenter or handyman can install these boxes in a snap — that leaves the fun component of planting for you.
Materials. Any range of materials are acceptable for window boxes. Ready-made or custom boxes could be fashioned of wood, metal, ironwork or vinyl and can be created to match the bricks or trim on your window or contrast to produce a more colorful feature. A number of those plastic ones can even be painted any colour you like, so you have the look of a colorful wooden box with all the durability of vinyl.
Window boxes are available at most nurseries, garden centers, home improvement stores and some hardware shops. Several internet companies also will assemble custom boxes to you. Additionally, it is worth considering hiring a respectable carpenter to make boxes in accordance with your specifications, taking all of the anxiety out of doing it yourself if you’re not comfortable with your level of ability.
Murphy & Co.. Layout
Location. Evidently, window boxes move underneath windows, but are there any other guidelines? As it happens, yes.
Take a peek at your home from throughout the road, making note of these windows on your house. While it’s not necessary or even attractive to add window boxes to each and every window, it makes less sense to choose one random window to cut out using a box. Rather, choose feature windows, such as those on either side of your entryway or the row of windows by your living space. Second-story window boxes are a stunning addition, but you should be certain that you are able to open that window otherwise you will have no accessibility for watering or other maintenance.
Elaine M. Johnson
Drainage. Most window boxes have drainage holes underneath the box to help your plants remain healthy. Openwork iron or metal boxes, however, are usually lined with cocoa liners that generally drain a little too publicly, leaving plants thirsty. To counteract this, line the interior of the cocoa liners with perforated vinyl — I’ve used trash bags cut to match with holes poked into them so they do not become waterlogged, which would make the reverse problem.
Decorative boxes could be painted on the interior with a waterproof roof cement which keeps the wood from rotting prematurely. You will still wish drainage holes drilled in the bottom, but this procedure will prolong the life of your box.
Plants to utilize. Many small flowering plants that grow in the ground or are acceptable for container plantings will work in a window box. It is possible to take advantage of this elevation of window boxes by adding plants that have a trailing habit — ivies, petunias, lobelias, impatiens, sweet potato vines — but do not forget perpendicular plants to balance out things. Geraniums, marigolds, miniature evergreen topiaries, low-growing decorative grasses and even miniature roses could be tucked in to add a little bit of height and keep things interesting. Make sure you use plants that do not grow taller than one-third the height of the window, or they will look overgrown and imposing rather than enchanting.
Installation. There are several methods to install a window box. Several have L-shaped mounts for support, which can be attached to timber wall studs underneath the windowsill. If it seems necessary to attach brackets to brickwork or stucco, then make sure you use a drill bit that is designated for masonry, or it’ll break off. Once the brackets are installed, place the window on top and fasten it in position with screws.
If you’re purchasing ready-made window boxes, then make sure that you center them under your window. Purchased boxes ought to be the width of this window along with the trim, or if your window has shutters, the width of the window plus 4 to 6 inches. Anything bigger will look undersize and out of proportion. A standard window box is generally about 8 inches deep, however habit boxes can be any depth you desire, so long as it’s in proportion to a own window.
Planting hints. Make sure your window boxes are set up before placing them, as they’ll be too heavy once implanted to maneuver into position and fasten to the mounts. Use a good-quality potting soil or spilled garden soil, then add a few slow-release fertilizers that may feed your plants a small amount every time they are watered. If you are using more dry plants such as cacti or succulents, make sure you use a soil that is formulated for all those kinds of plants to permit them to drain better.
I love to actually pack a great deal of plants into window boxes, particularly if I’m using flowering annuals. Annuals seem good only for that growing season, so I do not like to wait months for them to fill. Using six-packs of colour, 4-inch pots or 1-gallon containers is usually the best option, as anything bigger will probably be too big for your box.
Michelle Jacoby, Shifting Spaces
Watering and fertilizing. Your watering program will depend on the type of plant material you use (thirsty impatiens will need daily watering; succulents will need less, for instance) along with the sun exposure that your boxes receive. The more sun your own window boxes get, the faster they will dry out and have to be watered. In general, most plants in window boxes will need to be watered many times a week — you can use your hose-end sprinkler for reduced window boxes, watering cans for boxes on second stories and drip irrigation for boxes on any level. Additionally, there are some self-watering boxes that, once watered, store water in the base of the box so that your plants could be irrigated for as much as fourteen days — great for busy people or for when you are away on holiday.
It’s also advisable to fertilize according to the type of plants you have, however utilizing a water-soluble fertilizer once or twice a month is a good general rule of thumb to keep things lush, green and flowering.
The Windowbox Gardener
Style. Window boxes have a reputation for being casually charming, lending themselves naturally to cabin style. However, the truth is, depending on the kind of your box material as well as the plants that you add to them, your own window boxes can seem elegant, formal, sleek or contemporary.
Painted wooden boxes with a mess of colorful annuals tend to seem more casual and traditional, whereas black ironwork boxes using stately evergreens and white flowers and ivy look more formal. Create a contemporary look with neutral timber boxes planted with low-growing decorative grasses or tiny cacti. Start with the style of your house and let that dictate your own window box decisions.
Next: See how to make a fundamental window box