Beautiful gardens in miniature—that's the essential appeal of window boxes. No matter if you lack the time, money, or energy to maintain large, sumptuous borders, you can still enjoy colorful flowers and foliage in planters that are small enough to change in five minutes and striking enough to give your house a new look.
This window box dresses up the front of the home while providing extra gardening space. Horticulturist Tracee Lund, of Potted
Pleasures in Charleston, South Carolina, used light colors to evoke a cooler feel in summer. The white, chartreuse, and green
also pick up the colors of the house and small front garden.
What's planted: 'Aaron' white caladium, 'Key Lime Pie' heuchera, 'White Nancy' spotted dead nettle, holly fern, ivy, and light pink periwinkle
This lush planter reflects the proven "thriller, filler, spiller" recipe that puts a tall plant in the center, mounding plants
on the sides, and trailing plants flowing over the edges.
What's planted: Japanese iris is the thriller. White snapdragon, violet African daisy, red common geranium, and white 'Tidal Wave Silver' petunia are fillers. Pink and red ivy geraniums, dark red calibrachoa, and purple Lanai verbena are spillers.
Get the look: For an upscale window box (like the one above), have one custom made from rot-resistant wood, such as cedar. It will need painting and a metal liner inside to make it last. Check out less expensive alternatives at gardeners.com, kinsmangarden.com, plowhearth.com, and hooksandlattice.com, and see the Smith & Hawken collection at target.com.
The big challenge in choosing plants for this hayrack was picking colors to complement the vivid coral of the stucco wall.
What's planted: coral twinspur (diascia), blue Panola pansy, blue delphinium, blue edging lobelia, white common geranium, coral trailing petunia, and white 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia
One simple rule to make window boxes like these more interesting: Plant a thriller (something tall, such as a blooming geranium),
a filler (something to add fullness, such as colorful caladium), and a spiller (something to trail over the sides, such as
What's planted: salmon pink geranium, 'Pink Beauty' caladium, and purple petunias
Winter is equally stellar when you know what to plant. Begin with a focal point, the one element that draws attention. In
this window box, a tall pyramid-shaped boxwood serves as the anchor plant. To each side, a small, round boxwood repeats the
texture and fills the container with substantial foliage. Accent the green with bright red nandina berries gathered from the
What's planted: boxwoods, paperwhites, green-and-white flowering cabbages (in 4-inch pots), silvery dusty miller, white violas, green-and-white ivy, and red nandina berries
Crisp nights, frost, and crystal-clear days bring lush, vibrant colors to flowering kale.
What's planted: Nagoya kale, Peacock kale, purple violas, and lemon cypress