Bright and Beautiful Window Box Planters
A window box adds living personality to your home. Sun or shade, there is a combo that will suit your setting and style.
Vertical innovation makes a window box look great without a window. Add hooks and jute rope to a teak planter like this one, then fill with sun-loving purple bloomers and hang where they will get plenty of rays. Plants in our arrangement include verbena, Strobilanthes Persian Shield, 'Fragrant Delight' heliotrope, Easy Wave Blue petunia, 'Black Pearl' pepper, Calibrachoa and 'Vista Purple' salvia.
All You Can Eat
Grow fresh herbs and greens right outside your kitchen. We planted mint, golden oregano, red-veined sorrel, lemon basil, pak choi, lemongrass, spearmint and Greek oregano.
Related: How to Build a Wall of Potted Herbs
Casey Lawrence's lush window box displays are a favorite on the social channels for The Lawrence Garden Farm in southeast Wisconsin. This arrangement features orange canna, dragon wing red begonia, superbena large lilac blue verbena, wave petunias, 'purple knight,' liberty classic bronze snapdragons and vertigo grass. Here are her tips for how to grow and care for a window box garden.
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. Our plant choices: Echevaria 'The Rose', 'Tokyo Sun' sedum, Senecio (Blue Chalksticks), Aeonium 'Garnet', Echevaria 'Perle von Nürnberg', 'Angelina' sedum, Echeveria 'Blue Curls' and Lampranthus 'Pink Vygie'.
Related: So-Easy Succulent Container Gardens
A window shutter transforms a window box from blah to bright. Once you find a shutter the right size for your box, decide whether to paint it or leave it in the condition you found it. We chose a sunny yellow! Attach the shutter to the box using screws.
Kitchen Window Beauties
At the kitchen window of an Ohio home, a hayrack planter brims with portulaca, trailing Dorotheanthus bellidiformis, rhipsalis, jade and echeveria.
If you like your colors spicy hot, plant this design in a red or bright yellow box to underscore the vivid plant selection. Put coleus varieties 'Skyrocket' and 'Tabasco' in the back and New Guinea impatiens across the front and sides. Vinca vine trails in front. Grow this arrangement in partial sun.
The rich shades of coleus make a statement next to spots of bright color from blooms. From left: coleus 'Stained Glassworks Copper', Lantana 'Dallas Red', beargrass, coleus 'True Red', coleus 'Stained Glassworks Big Blond' and licorice vine.
It's game on with some vintage croquet mallets and a window box painted in rustic tones. If you like, push a few old metal croquet wickets into the soil at the front of the box to round out the croquet theme.
We scoured architectural salvage shops to find the inspiration for this idea. A piece of old Victorian-inspired ceiling tin (ours is a vintage border) gives an elegant twist to an ordinary window box. Use tin snips (and a pair of gloves) to cut the metal so it fits the window box. Secure using construction adhesive or nails. Tip: Can't find any vintage ceiling tin that will work? Buy a new tin piece and give it a distressed look with paint.
Variegated trailers dangle over the edge of this box filled to brimming with cottage favorites including hibiscus, impatiens, pansies and periwinkle.
Customize your window box to fit the occasion by incorporating chalkboard into the design. Attach a piece of old schoolhouse slate to a simple window box using exterior adhesive, or prime a window box, then paint with chalkboard paint.
Salvaged wrought-iron fencing puts a fresh look along the top of basic window boxes. (Peek among the leaves to find the subtle rust-colored iron.) Cut ironwork to fit the length of the box, then use screws to attach it from inside. Tip: If painting the fencing, be sure to use a stain-blocking metal primer first.
On the Shady Side
For a spot of color in a shady setting, make groupings of coordinating colors of impatiens, such as pink and burgundy. Boston ferns separate the groups. Vinca trails over the cool green box.
Yellow petunias mingle with spikes of grass and a variegated trailer in a window box decorated in lattice matching that used on this porch.
At a woodsy retreat, this subdued collection of petunias and other plants fills a craftsman-style box.
Sweet potato vine and some coleus thrive in this shady setting and coordinate with the wood colors of this log cabin.
Garden art catches the eye when framed by a bursting of foliage. Start by centering a boxwood topiary near the back of the box. Build around the piece with 'Wave' petunias, tuberus begonias, sweet potato vine and variegated trailers. Place a sculpture or other garden novelty in front to complete.
Billowing asparagus ferns promote a well-nourished window box. Add rosy periwinkles on either side for a delicate pop of color.
Complement your home's exterior with a hanging box of coordinating colors. Plant flowers that reflect your home, like the pale purple of 'Delta Beaconsfield' pansies and lobelia 'Riviera Midnight Blue' accented by 'Fordhook Favorites' nasturtium and Madagascar dragontree.
Gutter of Succulents
Fill an old gutter with succulents like echeveria and sedum 'Angelina', then hang the lively scene from a deck railing. When watering succulents, soak the soil, not the rosette.
Related: Top Succulent Plants for the Midwest
Though generally considered accent plants, coleus 'Dark Chocolate' and draping sweet potato vines layer to create a bold statement all on their own. Contrast their clean lines with an eclectic mix of potted alternatives, like petunias, cordyline and impatiens.
Flower-filled hangers can dress up decks, too. This planter maintains a cohesive look with 'Double Wave' petunias, 'Kaleidoscope' pentas and snapdragons from the same color family.
Related: Ideas to Dress Up Your Deck
Fresh and dried flowers make for a bountiful fall look. Oversize cabbages and hydrangea blossoms anchor an arrangement that has branches twisting out in fun swirls.
Related: Fall Decorating with Hydrangeas
Fall Window Box
Dress up your window box for fall with gourds and vegetables in a variety of shapes and textures. Our veggies included chartreuse Romanesco broccoli, Cipollini onions, large cabbage heads, and strings of Brussels sprouts on stalks. Vegetables can last two to three weeks in cool weather.