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How to plant the perfect window box

Window boxes are a great way to jazz up any window area. They’re creative, eye-catching and will add ‘curb appeal‘ to the front of your home. But what type of container should you use? And which plants? Here are a few tips to help you create the perfect window box…

Select your box

The first step is to choose a container for your plants. Popular choices are boxes made from terracotta or wood, with a plastic inner lining. Consider how the box will enhance your window area. Would you like a colour that coordinates with your paintwork? Or perhaps terracotta, to match your other plant pots?

Check to make sure your pot has good drainage holes in its base. These are essential, as they stop water from collecting and rotting your plants. Some people also advise that you should put small stones or pebbles along the bottom of the box, to assist with the drainage. Remember that your box will be partly covered by flowers, so pick something that is attractive but simple. Let the plants be the real centre of attention.

Choose your plants

Now for the fun part – choosing your plants. Decide what you’d like the finished look to be. Do you want neat, colour-coordinated flowers or a vibrant mix of colours? For a visually appealing box, it’s a good idea to combine different varieties of plant. Petunias are a great choice for sunny spots, whilst Busy Lizzies are good if your box is in the shade. Remember that your plants will all be exposed to the same amount of sunlight, water and the same type of soil. Therefore, it’s a good idea to select plants which have similar needs to one another.

To maintain a year-round window box, you could combine summer and winter plants, which flower alternately. Another method is to swap out your plants for a new set when the days turn cooler. If your window is high up, you may want to choose a simpler, bolder selection of colours. This will have a more striking visual effect when viewed from street level. If your window is on the ground floor, you could experiment with a more complex design. The important thing is to pick flowers that you enjoy looking at. If you’re at all unsure, ask someone at your local garden centre for advice.

Arrange and maintain

A great tip is to arrange your freshly purchased plants in the box, while still in their pots. This way you can see how the colours, textures and shapes work together. Experiment with different combinations but remember that the plants will grow, so leave a little breathing space between them. Once you’re happy, remove the pots and pack in some good quality compost. Again, once you know which plants you’ll be using, you can ask your local garden centre for advice on the best type of compost. Ensure your box always has plenty of water by checking the soil regularly. Ideally check once a day, or twice daily during hotter weather. Deadheading the flowers regularly will also keep them looking fresh and will make room for new buds.

We hope you’ve found these suggestions helpful. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out our windows gallery, here.

(Photo by Pixabay)