As you plan this year’s garden, consider adding some window boxes. A charming window box is a small garden placed above the ground, on a window or porch ledge. In older, foreign cities it is common to see three- and four-story houses graced with well-tended, colorful window boxes. Many homes in America have at least one location that could be enhanced by a window box.

When choosing a location, consider ease of maintenance. A window box can be placed on a house, barn, shed, playhouse or even a garage. Favorite house locations include kitchen and bathroom windows.

Window boxes may be hand-made or purchased. Wood, plaster, weathered copper, and iron tubing (with coco mat liners) are popular. The style you choose should be in keeping with the surrounding landscape and the architecture of the building.

Window boxes must have good drainage. And keep in mind that they will become very heavy when filled and watered. This should be seriously considered when attaching them to a building.

There are many options for plant materials. Window boxes can contain permanent or seasonal plantings, formal or informal. One favorite is herbs, with a few blooming flowers mixed among them. Monochromatic greenery cascading over the edges is elegant. Pansies and violas are colorful additions to a winter window box, and evergreens do well in winter, too. Primroses are beautiful for spring. Geraniums and daisies, with trailing ivy, are great for summer. Chrysanthemums in a variety of colors make a lovely autumn box.

Many varieties do well together. Use plants of different heights, the more color the better. Keep in mind the amount of light the plants will receive, the proper kind of soil for the grouping, and don’t forget to water as needed, especially in our hot summers. Happy planting!

Sharon Nelson, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Posted in Other Seasonal Topics