Gardening is usually one of those things that people like in theory but don’t really have either the time or resources for in reality. If you are one of those people who would love to have some fresh flowers and plants around your home, but you either don’t have time to tend a real garden, or you don’t have the space to plant one, then window box gardening could be for you.
Window box gardening has all of the benefits of traditional gardening, but window boxes are easier to maintain and can be used by anyone. Window boxes also have the added benefit of making the flowers and the plants easier to see from inside the house, which means you don’t have to sit outside to enjoy your handiwork.
If you think window boxes are for you, before you can get into the fun part of choosing plants for your box, you have to first consider where you are going to place the window box. Where you box is placed will dictate which kinds of flowers you can have in it.
Ideally, you want your window box to either get full sun or part sun – if it is totally in the shade, you will be limited when it comes to picking flowering plants. Of course, window boxes are loved by apartment dwellers, and the surrounding buildings can impact the level of sun.
Don’t forget to consider things like the color of the surrounding buildings. Even if buildings shade your window box, if those buildings are white, they can reflect enough sun to allow you to plant full sun plants.
If the surrounding buildings are dark, even if your plants seem to get full sun, you might have better luck with part sun plants because the dark buildings will absorb some of the sun.
Crucially, you must also consider the wind. This issue becomes especially important if you live several floors up. Wind speed increases are you go higher in the air, and heavy winds can be detrimental to sensitive plants.
Even more important to remember, however, is that a falling window box can be deadly to people walking below. Choose a sturdy box with a good system of attachment to your window so your box doesn’t become a deadly projectile to people walking below in heavy winds, and preferably, place your box in some place that is shaded from the wind.
Once you have found the perfect place for your window box, you can get around to choosing your box yourself. Window boxes are generally made of four materials – clay, plastic, metal, or wood. The choice really comes down to which look you like the best.
However, plastic is generally the cheapest, sturdiest and easiest to work with. Clay is often extremely heavy, because it needs to be glazed and it needs to be thick to handle the soil.
Now for the fun part: choosing the plants. Your gardening center will be able to give you advice on the best kinds of plants for the temperatures in your area and which kinds of soils you will need for the plants you pick.
Be sure the plants are compatible with the level of sun your window box will get. Also be careful about overcrowding your window box, which will cause weeds to grow.
Flowers in window boxes tend to grow away from the window, but if you want the flowers to be equally visible inside and out, flip your window box around every few days. This will cause the flowers to grow vertically instead of out, so you will be able to enjoy your window box from all angles.