As we wrap up another summer here in Utah, you may want to consider adding window boxes to a couple areas of your home for next season. Window boxes have been around since early Roman times, but they started to get widely popular in the early 1900s. For many of us with tiny yards, (or not) a window box can provide that green feel in an easily customizable way. Here are some great ideas for window boxes:
- Mini vegetable garden: You don’t have to have an acre lot to enjoy some home-grown veggies. Tomatoes, lettuce, bush beans, and radishes all do well in a planter box, and if you have the room for a deep enough box, you can even go for some carrots, potatoes, or onions. The window box needs to be at least 6-12 inches deep and have adequate drainage holes.
- Herb heaven: Fresh herbs don’t need a lot of space to be productive. Cilantro, sage, mint, and basil are smart choices and can be added to a variety of meals. You can mix these with other flowers or vegetables to create an eye-catching mini garden.
- Flowers and vines: There are many great options for flowers and vines that will do well in a planter. Sun lovers include marigolds, lavender, geraniums, or honeysuckle. Shadier spots may like ferns, pansies, snapdragons, begonias, or ivy. Mix and match what you’re drawn to, and stress less knowing with window boxes it’s easy to replace small portions where flowers may not make it all summer to keep the box refreshed.
Window Box Materials
The material you choose can impact the overall style, but you also want to consider maintenance needs. Wood boxes will need to be coated with a protective layer and will require some upkeep each year. There are plastic options that look like wood that are durable and don’t require more maintenance than a little wipe down now and then. Metal planters are gorgeous and popular but be mindful of the location and color. Dark metal planters in the full sun can get very hot, burning the plants and drying out the soil quickly. If you’re set on that lovely metal planter, consider adding a plastic pot liner to provide some insulation and try placing it where it’s in a shadier location. Another popular choice is a hayrack planter with coco fiber. These are lightweight and attach easily to exterior walls. The fiber lining is water-preserving, and the whole aesthetic of this window box is very classic and timeless. Woven planters are also popular because they add an element of texture to elevate the whole look.
Many window boxes on the market today come with weatherproofing properties and are UV resistant. Some may even come equipped with a self-watering system, which saves a lot of time and stress. If you want a window box, but you’re not quite ready to attach something to your house (or you are renting), try getting a box that will secure to deck railing or balconies to get the vertical garden you’ve always wanted. When planting your window box garden, be sure to start with the best possible soil from The Dirt Bag.