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17 Window Box Ideas To Add Instant Charm To Your Home

19 de april de 2024

Looking for a simple, but high-impact gardening project? Consider revamping your window boxes. Beautiful gardens in miniature—that’s the essential appeal of window boxes. Similar to container gardens, window boxes provide a contained space to arrange plants and flowers; if the prospect of completely re-landscaping your lawn seems daunting, these smaller projects are a great place to start. Another benefit? The small scale of these planting projects makes it incredibly easy to change your blooms with the seasons.

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. Frame your windows with stunning seasonal blooms that complement your home’s color palette. Say hello to maximum curb appeal—you’ll be stunned at the difference a fresh window box can make.

Fill Every Inch

Much of the Osers» Birmingham, Alabama home’s backyard caters to the family’s young children, with a big, open grassy area, but that didn’t curb Landscape Designer Todd Dorlon’s vision.

«He utilized empty spaces to add decorative details, such as the apple tree espaliered onto the house with wire and screws. (Pick a leafy spot on the branches for attaching the wire so it’s hidden from view.) Oser likes to sneak additional spring color into the window boxes.»

Learn more about how landscaping transformed this Birmingham home.

Place Within Reach

Teal Blue House with Navy Blue Front Door and Dog

«They’re a lot like puppies—high maintenance but really cute.» Anne Daigh, founder and principal of Daigh Rick Landscape Architects in Nashville, says window boxes require frequent, sometimes daily, watering, so ensure that you can easily reach them.

«They should be at least 12 inches deep (to give plants enough room to root and grow) and have adequate drainage.» Daigh likes to use dwarf boxwoods and ivy, adding pansies in the winter and another annual in the summer.

Learn more about the 10 secrets of curb appeal.

Plant Vines For Drama

Sweeping Vines Window Box Trio

Jen Stringer Obi designed this stop- and-stare sight. A trio of boxes filled with white caladiums, red ti plants, and dramatic swags of creeping Jenny and ivy enlivens the facade of this historic home.

Designer Tip: «Start with a well-draining potting soil–you don’t want to use anything too heavy. Don’t plant in topsoil, as it will rot your plants out.» —Jen Stringer Obi

Design A Mini Garden

Bright Mini Garden Window Box

Designer Debbie Kaminski mixes fern, orange calibrachoa, red bromeliad, and «Mona Lavender» plectranthus to create these impressive layers of bright color in one window box.

Designer Tip: «When you’re planting annuals, their roots are often very compacted. Loosen them up a bit. I think some people are scared that they might kill them, but the roots are tough.» —Debbie Kaminski

Decorate Your Garden Shed

Whitney McGregor

Decorator Whitney McGregor’s home-makeover advice: skip the big design plan. All you need are the things you love and the willingness to try and fail.

Dress up something small like a storage shed with window boxes. The extra touch will make a utilitarian building a charming part of your property.

Learn more about this South Carolina cottage.

Tropical Window Box

Tropical Window Box

This window box by Kelli Shaw illustrates her characteristically bold and unexpected design approach. A red-centered, starlike bromeliad appears to burst from the box. And red-stemmed caladiums echo that color. In contrast, spiky maroon cordyline, deep purple heuchera, pink begonias, and trailing «Outback Sunset» golden globes fill out this arresting showpiece.

Designer Tip: «Plants need to be watered before they’re planted. Water them while they’re in the little plastic pots. Don’t put a bunch of dry plants in a box and then try to water it—the water will just roll around the dry root ball and never wet it.» —Kelli Shaw

Embrace Small Wonders

Small Window Box with Greenery

This elegant box by Tracee Lund starts its season pretty and petite, but the purple salvia, sweet potato vine, and purple wishbone will fill out over the summer. In the meantime, fine-textured foliage and a smattering of flowers create plenty of curb appeal.

Designer Tip: «Be mindful of all of the physical aspects of gardening. You need to lift carefully and bend properly.»—Tracee Lund

Make It Wild

Floral Window Box

Designer Kelly Megeath uses yellow creeping Jenny, pink mandevilla, purple calibrachoa, and red pentas for a riot of color and texture. An eclectic bunch of petite blooms evokes the feeling of an English garden—all in the space of a few feet.

Designer Tip: «It’s important to know if the box is in full sun or shade, and then select plant materials that work together. Also, there are plants that are drought tolerant and plants that want more water; you can’t combine those two types in one window box.»—Kelly Megeath

Go For Bold

Go for the Bold

The big challenge in choosing plants for this hayrack was picking colors to complement the vivid tangerine of the stucco wall. The contrasting white and blue blooms won’t be outshined in this setting.

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

Follow The Thriller, Filler, Spiller Formula

Follow the Magic Formula

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

Look Cool For Summer

Look Cool for Summer

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

Pair Bright Flowers And Foliage

Make It Interesting

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 purple petunias).

What’s planted: salmon pink geranium, «Pink Beauty» caladium, and purple petunias

Learn how to make a Charleston-style box planter

Winterize Your Window Box

Winterize Your Window Box

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 yard.

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

Learn more about this Winter Window Box

Bring In Color With Kale

Color with Kale

Crisp nights, frost, and crystal-clear days bring lush, vibrant colors to flowering kale. In the South, this cold-hardy green can dress up a window box from fall until late spring.

What’s planted: Nagoya kale, Peacock kale, purple violas, and lemon cypress

Learn more about Colorful Kale

Use Seasonal Flowers

Black Window Box

Pansies prefer the cooler months in the South, and can even be grown through the winter in many areas. Pull out sunburnt or frost-bitten flowers in the late fall and replace them for seasonal color. When the weather grows warm again, you can swap out pansies and plant your favorite summer blooms.

Invite Them In

Window boxes with caladiums, torenias, begonias, potato vines, inch plants, impatiens, creeping Jenny, and trailing vincas

Stephanie Dixon’s husband, Ben, built the white containers hanging beneath their sunroom windows. She picked caladiums, torenias, begonias, potato vines, inch plants, impatiens, creeping Jenny, and trailing vincas for the boxes. «I like for my home to show how loved it is, and I want everything to feel welcoming and happy,» she says. «Window boxes and containers filled with color are easy ways to achieve an inviting look when you don’t have the time or energy to plant other things.»

See this St. Simons Island garden.

Use Compact Varieties With Big Blooms

Charleston Window Boxes with Hydrangeas

Even big-blooming hydrangeas can be at home in a window box, provided you find the right varieties. Look for compact hydrangeas such as «Pink Elf,» which only grows to 24 inches tall. Plant it in the center for dramatic impact, and monitor soil moisture frequently. Hydrangeas are thirsty container plants and do best when watered regularly.

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