We've all been there. You're leaving for work and you hit the button to close your garage door. It starts to go down a few inches, then suddenly reverses. The lights flash on the opener like there's a party you weren't invited to. You try again—same result. What the heck?
Window box planters have been making appearances on houses since ancient times. The Romans used terracotta versions for growing foods and plants for medicines. As window boxes made their way through Europe, they used such materials as wire & hay, wrought iron and tin. The modern versions seen on homes today showcase beautiful blooms that delight the eye.
Consider these guidelines when adding window boxes to your home.
Your window box should match the length of your existing window and should not exceed 25% of your windows height. Examine the area and make sure it can support the box you choose plus the weight of the dirt and flowers. Consider the amount of sunlight this area receives, this will determine the type of flowers you plant.
Window boxes come in a variety of materials, each with pros and cons to take into consideration.
Metal - strong and durable, but can dent easily and rust.
Fiberglass - does not rot and can be painted to match your home, but is pricey.
Wood – easy to customize, but is susceptible to rot and insect damage.
Terracotta – readily available, not a good choice for colder climates.
Plastic – lightweight and inexpensive, less durable.
If you want to think outside the “box”, an old drawer can be refashioned to hold flowers or several pails lined up make a sweet presentation.
You have several options when it comes to installing your window box.
Brackets are a smart choice for many different styles. They are easy to install and convenient if you need to remove the box for cleaning or for winter storage.
If the window box will be a permanent fixture to your home, utilizing a cleat system gives you more stability, plus the box can still be removed for cleaning or storage. This video gives you easy step by step guidelines:
If you are renting your home, employing D-rings & hooks designed to go under vinyl siding is a great solution. Attach the D-rings to your planter, position your hooks and your box is ready to hang and fill. This method is best for light window boxes.
When you choose your flowers, keep in mind the amount of sunlight they will be receiving. Start with younger plants that will root well. Zinnias and marigolds are very tolerant of the heat, while impatients and fuschia need shade. Pansies and petunias are a great all around choice. A composition of flowers or vines that trail over the edge makes for a pleasing display. Choose a potting mix that contains peat or other ingredients that help to maintain moisture. Arrange your plants 2 to 5 inches apart so there is room for growth. Water daily and prune plants as necessary.
An herb garden is a fun idea for a window near the kitchen. Fill it with herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme or mini pepper plants that can be used in cooking over the summer.
Enjoy your window box and the pizzazz it brings to your home!
When I hear those words, it's a callback to a bygone era—a time when people worked in terrible conditions and safety measures were lax. I also think of contruction—oil rigs, bulldozers, combine harvesters, and steam rollers. I don't think my day to day life involves heavy machinery or industrial equipment.