Hanging window box designs, placed at the window sill level, are of immense decorative value to both the interior and exterior of any home. Foliage and flowering plants, certain dwarf shrubs, evergreens, potted sips, succulents, and even trailing vines can be grown in a window planter garden and they will thrive with a minimum of care. Some varieties grow best in full sunlight; others do well in partial shade, and some in full shade. This means that by carefully selecting the plants, you can have a luxuriant hanging window box gardening feature on all four sides of the house in a single season. Plants selected for a given location should have the same or similar soil preferences, and also similar temperature and sunlight requirements. A variation of the usual window box planters is the addition of a small lattice on which vines can grow, forming a higher and more substantial screen than plants alone.
Window Box Styles
WINDOW BOX WITH ENAMELLED TILES
WOOD WINDOW BOX
RUSTIC WINDOW BOX W/ ENAMELLED TILES
Plants to be grown in such a confined space as the average window planter should be selected for type and habits of growth. Window box designs generally require low growing flowering plants for the sunny side; foliage plants and trailing vines for the areas of partial and full shade and small evergreens for the year round window box garden. Suitable evergreens may be any of the low spreading varieties which grow slowly. Certain plants that will not mature fully in the shorter growing season of the colder regions are suitable for outside plantings in planting boxes only in the warmer climates. Only low-growing plants with heavy stems and short foliage should be selected for second floor window box designs, as these will be more directly exposed to high winds and beating rains.
How to Plant a Window Box
If shelves are used at the second story windows, holes should be scroll sawed in the shelf boards so that the plant pots can be set in the holes to about half their depth. This design prevents the potted plants from being blown off the shelves. The selection and preparation of soil is important. As the amount of soil is limited by the size of the window box, the plant food of an ordinary soil will soon be depleted. Window box flowers, such as foliage plants with large individual leaves, should not be planted adjacent to small, low growing plants, except in extra-long planter boxes where the large plants can be placed at the ends of the window planter or in the center. If planted randomly or alternately in a smaller box, the large leaves of the taller foliage plant will shade the smaller plants during some part of the day and may affect the rate and extent of growth.
Planters used for window box gardening should be as ample as possible, the full length of the window-casing outside and at least a foot wide and deep. In preparing the window box designs for planting, half inch drainage holes are drilled into the bottom in an overall pattern measuring about three inches each way. Small pieces of broken pottery (pieces from a flowerpot will do) are placed over each of the holes to keep fine material from sifting through. Then a one inch layer of course gravel, cinders or small pieces of broken pottery is placed in the bottom of the box. If the window box is to be planted with succulents, the layer of this material should be two inches thick. Fill the planting box with the soil mixture to within about half inch of the top, pressing it down firmly. The mixture should be dry enough to handle easily without sticking to the fingers.
Window Box Ideas
Window Box Flowers
Cottage Garden Plants
Window Box Gardening
Window Box Ideas
Plants to be grown in such a confined space, as average window box designs warrant, should be selected for type and habits of growth. Five vertical plants and three vines are enough for most boxes, but even these may need attention before the season is over, especially if in south or west windows. North or east window planters will usually keep their contents fresh until frost; but a west or south light makes great demands upon the vitality of plants confined within the limited area. It is a good plan to leave Geraniums and similar flowers in their pots, that they may be easily exchanged for others when they grow shabby, cutting back and repotting the old ones for winter blooming if removed not later than August. As a result of spreading root systems, large and vigorous growers will rob small plants of needed soil fertility.