Gardening is so relaxing. Just looking at beautiful greenery and flowers is calming to my soul.
Window boxes are a great way to add flowers to an area that would otherwise be flowerless. They add a bright pop of color to a dull, drab window, and they make a pretty window even prettier.
We have a window box outside our kitchen window. In the morning, I love to rest my elbows on the windowsill and stay absolutely still. If I wait five minutes or so, a hummingbird will come along, and I get to see it close up. It makes my whole day.
Read on for pictures and descriptions of some great flower-box ideas.
Simple Boxes for Railings
Window boxes can fit into any design and style home you might have. It's a question of choosing the correct one for your house's style and the look you want to achieve.
In the photo above, you can see how a simple, white flower box that blends in with the railing was used to great effect. A few pretty plants were used that complement the colors of the house in the background.
Here, a combination of mostly green and white plants break up the plain exterior of a building. Still, it's a conservative planting. The only subtle color addition is the purple variety of coral bells in the middle.
This might be something to consider if you are going for a stately look in front of your house. It's a great option if you have a wide variety of plantings and flowers in the same area and want to tone it down. With this arrangement, there would be no clashing colors.
Colorful Flowers Against Red Geraniums
This window box has a background of geraniums—some true red and some just a little darker. In front of them, there are mixed marigolds and purple and red verbena. This box is in USDA zone 4 in Saranac Lake, NY. The picture was taken in August.
Bright and Eye-Catching Flower Boxes
Drawing attention with bright and busy arrangements is another great flower-box option. The following two photos are window boxes in front of stores in Wickford Village, Rhode Island, in early November. They are extremely bright and busy. Their purpose is to draw people's attention. (The pictures were taken in early November.)
You might not want something this busy for your house. Yet, while they might look over-the-top for the front of the house, any of these color combinations might add a touch of whimsy to a window in back of the house near a deck or patio.
Striking Mixtures of Flowers and Plants
The above picture is an unusual mix of flowers and plants, an example of putting one of each different colorful plant. There is an orange gerbera daisy plant right next to some curly leaf parsley, but it works. After the parsley, there is a clump of Serengeti upright (violet + white) nemesia. A yellow gerbera daily is followed by calibrachoa superbells in cherry red. Behind them are some purple dome asters.
I am not sure what the tall plant to the right side of the photo is. To me, it looks like someone planted an avocado pit.
In the photo below, the box is filled with ornamental (and edible!) pepper plants.
Our Own Beautiful Window Boxes
The following window boxes are all ones found around my own home. I hope they provide you with some inspiration to make some of your own.
Purple Pansies and Kale
In the fall, all my other flowers in the front of the house are out of bloom, so I can go crazy with color. From this picture, it doesn't look as if I went crazy, just a little different.
Often we see pansies as the first flowers of spring. In Victorian times, pansies were a fall flower. They are extremely hardy in the autumn as well early spring. Many nurseries now carry pansies in the fall. This arrangement with the pansies actually stood up well until the second week in September in Connecticut (USDA zone 6).
Yellow and Purple Plants and Flowers
This is our summer window box. I stick to only a few colors, as we have colorful day lilies planted among our foundation shrubs. They bloom in the summer at the same time as the window box blooms. I don't want my yard to look as if a piñata exploded, but I do want something to break up our plain white house.
Although there are only two colors involved here, I used different plants in those colors to add interest and texture. They are: Lemon Symphony (Osteospermum hydrid); Angelface in wedgwood blue; Golddust (Mecardonia hybrid); lavender petunias; and blue zephyr (Brachyscome hybrid).
Evergreens and Kale for Christmas
We have a metal window-box holder that stays affixed to the house year round. Inside, I place a plastic liner, which I remove in winter and store away so it doesn't crack in the cold of winter.
To make this arrangement, I simply used yard trimmings of evergreens. I transplanted the ornamental kale from the plastic liner to a clay pot and put it in the middle. Notice how the kale bloomed out and changed color from the above fall window box. It's a lucky happenstance, as it makes the color pop against the evergreens.
© 2012 Ellen Gregory
Will you be planting window box or container garden this year?
kaseyrivenburgh on July 26, 2013:
Great idea. I love all green window box.
Fay Favored from USA on July 16, 2013:
I would love to have window boxes, but don't at this time. They are so pretty and can be decorated all year round.
Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on June 09, 2013:
I've been looking for ideas for window boxes. Thanks!
Melissa Miotke from Arizona on May 31, 2013:
I've never really thought of it but it's a really good idea. They are beautiful!
poppy mercer from London on January 16, 2013:
I love your petunia and Osteo summer box. Also the purple Heuchera with the vinca/ivy?
getupandgrow on December 31, 2012:
I always plant window boxes and change them with the seasons. But I have this fantasy that it should be possible to plant bulbs that come up automatically in sequence...Love your lens and its beautiful colours. Cheered me up on a rainy London day!
ohcaroline on December 24, 2012:
I just moved to a villa that has a window box in place outside the kitchen window. Nothing growing in it...but I will be giving it a facelift come spring. Great lens on window boxes and beautiful plantings.
Mamabyrd from West Texas on December 23, 2012:
I love your window boxes! They are beautiful I may just try my green thumb again this spring.
maryseena on December 22, 2012:
Yes. I always do