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The Dos and Don’ts of Window BoxesJanuary 23rd, 2015 by
If you are looking for a way to get into gardening or if your home could use some sprucing up, window boxes could be the perfect solution for you. Because there is such a large selection of flowers for window boxes, they are a highly customizable addition to your home. By following some simple dos and don’ts, your foray into window boxes can be easy, fun, and effective.
Choose a window box material that matches your home. Ideally, the window boxes should look like they were built whenever your house was built so that they blend in seamlessly. Try to find materials and colors that match or complement your home’s exterior.
Have fun with color. Window boxes are a great way to incorporate some interesting colors into your home’s color palette. Don’t be afraid to choose plants in bold colors. Consult our blog on color wheels for some ideas about which colors would best complement your current color scheme.
Play with proportions. Pick plants and flowers in different shapes, sizes, and textures to create a varied look that makes a statement. Think about how high you want the plants to extend and whether or not you want them to grow over the sides of the boxes. For a dramatic look, vines like ivy can drape over the fronts of the boxes. Plants that grow really high can provide more privacy for homeowners since they can block an outsider’s view into the window.
Think about scent. Many flowers and herbs have strong odors. If you are building window boxes in front of windows that you frequently keep open, be sure to choose plants with scents that you find pleasing and would like to smell on a regular basis.
Choose the right types of plants. If your window boxes will be receiving direct sunlight year-round, then blooming annuals will do just fine. However, if the windows you are adding boxes to are in shaded areas, then foliage plants, which don’t require blooming, are a better choice.
Don’t choose a window box that is too long or short. For the best effect, install window boxes that are about the same length as your windows. Don’t choose anything that is off by more than a couple of inches.
Don’t de-pot plants if you want to change them often. If you plan on changing the plants in your window boxes frequently, it is easiest to keep them potted and just fill in the space around the pots with soil. It’s a small cheat that will make it much simpler to change out plant choices later—especially if you only want to swap one out at a time.
Don’t go overboard. While window boxes can usually accommodate a few different types of plants at once, don’t feel like you have to incorporate all ten of your favorites at once. Having three to four different kinds of plants is standard for varied boxes. If you are having trouble deciding between two types of plants, try one out the first year, and use the second one the following year.
While the many options available for boxes and plants may seem overwhelming, just remember to have fun and think about what would most suit your home. By thinking about your home’s aesthetic and any possible limitations, you can easily narrow down your window box ideas to the most appropriate ones. Additionally, one of the greatest features of window boxes is that they can be updated from season to season and year after year; so if you end up disappointed by your first choices, you can always go with something else the following season. Window boxes allow you to embrace your creativity.
Sources: Better Homes and Gardens; HGTV; This Old House.
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