Window boxes are a great way to add beauty and life to the outside of your home or apartment. Additionally, like all containers, they can give the added benefit of housing edible plants as well as ornamental!
The Window Box
The first step is to install a durable window box. Since it will be getting wet, choose a material that won’t rot easily. Choose a durable wood (like teak) or plastic, and attach it securely to your home following the product instructions. Many experts also recommend lining the bottom of the box with landscaping fabric to prevent dirt from falling through the drainage holes and staining the housing siding. Most plants need full or partial sun, so make sure the window isn’t on a side of the home that is shaded all day.
Realistically, you can plant whatever you want in your window boxes. However, if you want it to be the most aesthetically pleasing, you’ll want to follow the basic design rule of having a variety of textures, heights, and colors.
Plants that will overhang your boxes are a must-have. Trailing plants make everything look well-curated and beautiful, even if you put in very minimal effort. Try a trailing bush tomato variety, like “Tumbling Tom”. Some herb varieties of oregano and spearmint will also spill over if you plant them next to the edges.
Put a plant that grows tall and upright in the middle for a focal point, like chives or basil. Then add texture and color with some filler plants. Green is beautiful, but you can also add edible plants with variegated leaves, like sage, purple kale, burgundy lettuce, or red-veined sorrel.
Lastly, fill in any empty spots with whatever plants you like to eat or cook with that you feel are missing: thyme, rosemary, etc. You could also try other fruits and vegetables that will do well in a compact container environment, including strawberries or a dwarf variety of peas. Ask for advice from your local nursery if you are unsure of which plants to choose.
At the end of the day, it’s your box, so choose plants that you like to eat and that you can care for (some plants are much more high maintenance than others), and have fun with it! The point of gardening, in general, is to have the experience of getting your hands dirty and learning about nature’s growth cycles. In the end, even if they don’t look perfect, plants are always beautiful and yield benefits for your whole family.
Designing a Beautiful (and Edible) Window Box This Summer
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