For instant curb appeal, it’s hard to beat window boxes. We’ve got plant picks and design twists, including a couple that are totally pane-less.

By Container Designer: Scott Johnson; Photographer: Blaine Moats
Purple state window box

Purple state

Vertical innovation makes a window box look great without a window. Add hooks and jute rope to a teak planter from Wayfair (wayfair.com), then fill with these sun-loving purple bloomers and hang where they will get plenty of rays.

Purple state window box

PLANTS

1 Verbena

2 Strobilanthes Persian Shield

3 ‘Fragrant Delight' heliotrope

4 Easy Wave Blue petunia

5 ‘Black Pearl' pepper

6 Calibrachoa

7 ‘Vista Purple' salvia

All You Can Eat

Grow fresh herbs and greens right outside your kitchen. This corten steel box from AllModern (allmodern.com) takes on a coppery patina as it weathers.

PLANTS

1 Mint

2 Golden oregano

3 Red-veined sorrel

4 Lemon basil

5 Pak choi

6 Lemongrass

7 Spearmint

8 Greek oregano

Mind the gap When you hang a window box, don't mount it supertight against the house. Use spacers to create a gap of an inch or two. This lets water and dirt escape, preventing mold and mildew and possible siding damage.

Everything's on the Table

Who says you have to actually attach a window box to anything? Try setting one on a patio table or ledge near a window. This vintage galvanized zinc planter holds easy-care succulents that won't freak out if you sometimes forget to water them.

PLANTS

1 Echevaria ‘The Rose'

2 ‘Tokyo Sun' sedum

3 Senecio (Blue Chalksticks)

4 Aeonium ‘Garnet'

5 Echevaria ‘Perle von Nürnberg'

6 ‘Angelina' sedum

7 Echeveria ‘Blue Curls'

8 Lampranthus ‘Pink Vygie'

Check all the boxes

• Pick boxes that flatter your home. Materials include fiberglass, plastic and rot-resisting woods like cedar. You can paint wood boxes to fit a color scheme. All boxes need drain holes.

• Choose long-blooming annuals and plants with striking foliage. And simplify color schemes by choosing just one or two unifying hues.

• Window boxes dry out really fast, especially in the sun. You may need to water daily. Self-watering boxes include reservoirs that let you water less often.

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