Whether they’re filled to the brim with English ivy, geraniums, dianthus or pansies, nothing brightens a home’s facade quite like a colorful window box. Best of all, they are easy to create by hand. Just follow these simple steps and you will soon have a gorgeous window box garden just in time for spring.
Step One: Find the right box to use. Wood works best, as it can be painted to match your house seamlessly. You can also use metal or other materials. Make sure that the box is the right size for your window. Typically, window boxes run the length of the window. Make sure the boxes are deep enough to hold enough soil for the plants to stay healthy and allow room for the roots. A good rule of thumb is to make the boxes at least 8 inches wide, as well as deep.
Step Two: To make your own box, use boards that are one inch in thickness, use a waterproof glue to join them together, and secure them with brass screws. You must also drill holes in the bottom of the box, to allow water to pass through. Make sure to choose windows that get enough sun for plants to flourish, but that also provide some shade during parts of the day.
Step Three: Make sure the box is positioned a few inches below the window, or lower if you have a window that opens outward. Fasten brackets into the siding of your house, either made of steel or out of a rot-resistant wood like cedar. Rest the box on top of the brackets (set about 15-20 inches apart, depending on the size of the window box) and screw the bottom of the window box to the brackets.
Step Four: You are now ready to plant! To get the best results, plant your plants directly in the window box container. Once you have nestled your plants in place, you may want to surround them with moss or bark. If you know that you are going to want to change your window box plants regularly, you may want to use a metal container and just arrange it within the box. Make sure to fertilize and water your plants regularly.
Step Five: Choose the right plants. For a bold look you will want bright plants against a contrasting light colored house, or conversely, light pastel plants against a dark colored house. A mix of bulbs, taller plants and trailers make for beautiful composition. If you are going to change your flowers often, choose annuals like pansies, petunias, lobelia, and dianthus. Permanent plants like geraniums, ivy, and miniature roses will provide an elegant look year-round.
Need inspiration for your new window box? Here are some inspiring window box gardening ideas using a variety of flowers and plants: