Traditional planters add outside beauty to any room

outdoor planter

Back in “the day” most every home had window boxes that added beauty to the street view of their home.  You could also see the beautiful display of flowers in the box from inside most of the rooms of the house so everyone was happy.  I’m seeing more and more of these relics from the past.  As a matter of fact, I am officially declaring National Return of the Window Box Day on November 31 of each and every year.  

When you take a look at the variety of plants in the best looking window boxes it is really mind-blowing.  I’ve seen artichoke plants mixed with beautiful wandering Jew, and coleus.  Plants that you would never plant together in the ground can be show-stoppers when combined into a closely planted window box.  

As you would imagine, one rule on plant combinations for your box is putting plants that have similar needs together.  A group of plants that need sun all day are not going to work with plants that thrive in shade.  Similarly, little plants that love to be watered twice a day would not work well with those that like to be watered once each two weeks.  

To get started, try to find a window box that is not too small or shallow.  Just like any container gardening, the smaller the container the more often you need to water.  And as I have learned the hard way, please have someone who knows how to secure your new box onto your house so that it won’t fall or tilt or otherwise “fail.”  You can use a black plastic trash bag to line your box to protect your box and make changing soil easier.  Poke holes in the plastic bag for drainage.  

Fill your window box about half-full of potting mix.  Don’t even think about using regular garden soil because it is too heavy and does not drain well.  Add water to the potting mix to moisten the mix.  Add a slow release fertilizer like Osmocote.  Add plants.  You need to add lots of plants or the box just won’t look good.  Use many more plants than you think you will need.  I’ve seen the pros make great looking boxes.

Joette Reger is an avid gardener and prides  herself on staying up-to-date on the latest gardening activities and tips. She can be reached by e-mail at joreger [at] msn [dot] com and on Facebook at “Gardengate with Joette Reger.”