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It’s happened at last, spring has finally sprung! Gone are the dull days of winter; the evenings are getting lighter, the days are getting warmer and the sun is shining more. Early spring is a great opportunity to brighten-up your tired winter window boxes and a give them a much needed boost of colour for spring.

Choosing plants

There are a huge variety of plants that will thrive in window boxes. It is always nice to have some year-round plants and mix in some annual flowers that can be replace when the die off. Always bear in mind the position of your window box when purchasing your plants. The plants you choose must suit the area where your box is situated, or else the plants will not thrive.

Best plants for sunny spots

  • Geraniums: a beautiful weatherproof plant with attractive foliage. Often seen in window boxes in Austrian alpine villages and Italian town houses. Thrives in full sun and partial sun.
  • Nasturtium: lovely spring flowers that come in creams, yellows, oranges, reds and burgundy colours. These plants like to grow in the sun in well drained soil.
  • Petunia (‘marshmallow’): these plants love full sunlight and come in pure white, pink and bicolour shades.
  • Helichrysum, sometimes called liquorice plant: this plant originates from South Africa. This is a great filler plant; it looks lovely in window boxes as well as hanging baskets.

Best plants for shady spots

  • Fuchsia ‘Marinka’: loves full sun, shade and partial shade. These plants produce beautiful bright flowers over a long period of time.
  • Cyclamen: pretty foliage with heart shaped leaves that are pale green in colour with silvery markings. The flowers produced are pale pink to deep red and have a rich scent.
  • Skimmia (‘Rubella’): a wonderful evergreen shrub from the Himalayas and the Far East. Rubella, the male variety has attractive red margined, dark green leaves, there flower are highly scented and open in spring.
  • Impatiens Walleriana, also known as Busy Lizzie: these are native to Eastern Africa; they come in a wide range of colours from white to purple. Buy the ‘New Guinea’ Impatiens which is mildew resistant. These plants produce endless flowers in bright colours that will last right through till November.

Window boxHow to plant in my window box

If you don’t have a window box yet and need to go and buy one, make sure that you measure your window sill accurately to insure a good fit. Choose a box with drainage holes, you can then cover them on the inside with a few stones or pieces of broken terracotta pot, this is to prevent the drainage holes from clogging and to stop the foil from falling out. Fill the box with compost, aim to leave a 2cm gap between the top of the compost to the edge of the box. When you have done this, arrange the plants (while still in their pots) making sure the taller plants are placed at the back and trailing plants in the front. When you are happy with your display, take the plants from their pots and put them in position. Do not put the plants too close together; fill in the gaps with compost and firm down the soil.

How to keep my spring window box looking great

To insure that you window boxes look wonderful during spring and beyond, make sure that you don’t over water, you only need to keep the soil moist. Give your plants a little boost each week by adding some liquid fertilizer to your watering can. Also, insure that you remove any yellowing leaves and dead flower heads.

Having well kept window boxes will also make your windows look fresh and colourful for the new season.