It’s Spring! Dress Up the Front of Your Home with Flower Boxes


87615739_XSIf you are selling your house, your real estate agent will probably suggest that you put together a few flower boxes to help dress up the front of your house. Most flower boxes are a mixture of tall and short perennials and annuals. Flower boxes are a terrific way to add a beautiful visual impact to any yard or porch. You can use them to line stairs; as a border on a concrete patio; or below a window.

The degree of sun exposure required by the plants is the main determining factor when deciding which plants are the best choices. There are flowering and foliage plants for every exposure, even the hot, harsh sunlight on the south side of a building. Selecting blooming plants and plants with colorful foliage that have similar growing requirements can provide color and texture all summer long.

Planting a Window Box Container Garden:

1. Decide on a color scheme for your window box. Flowers in the same range of colors will produce a calm and harmonious look. Contrasting colors will appear more energetic and bright. Think also about the color of the plants leaves and how that contrasts with the flowers.

2.Drill drainage holes in the base of your window box. Place pieces of small-hole mesh or screening in the inside of the box over the holes to prevent soil from falling out.

3. Fill a bucket with enough commercial potting mix to fill your window box. Use a high quality, lightweight mix containing ingredients such as compost or peat moss. If the mix doesn’t contain perlite, add two or three handfuls of perlite to increase drainage.

4. Moisten the potting mix until it is evenly moist but not soggy.

5. Mix in a general-purpose, granular slow-release fertilizer. Refer to the label for specific rates of the fertilizer required for the amount of soil in your window box.

6. Fill the window box half full with the moist potting mix.

7. Experiment by arranging your nursery plants on top of the potting soil. Place tall plants in back, medium-height plants in the center and trailing plants around the outer edges of the box. Move the plants around until you like the overall appearance of the box, and then remove the plants from the window box.

8. Fill your window box by planting one plant at a time, beginning in the middle of the box. Slide each plant from its container. Place the plant on the potting soil and add a small amount of potting soil to hold the roots in place. Continue adding plants and potting soil until all the plants are in place and the potting mixture is up to within 1 inch of the top of the box.

9. Water the window box lightly to settle the potting mix. If necessary, add more potting mix to bring the level to within 1 inch of the top of the box. Thereafter, water according to the needs of the particular plants. Check the window box often during warm weather.

10. Pinch 1 inch from the growing tips of the stems to promote full, compact growth. Pinch again anytime the plants begin to look long and leggy

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What Should I Plant?

Choose plants that are suited to the planter box’s environment. Determine how much sun per day the window box will receive, and whether it is in a windy or shaded place. Select plants for all parts of your window box: trailing plants that will grow over the front of the box and hang down, taller plants or foliage for the back of the box, and small or medium-size plants for the middle section.  When in doubt you can rely on suggestions from an expert at your local nursery.  Here’s a few ideas:

Annuals

  • Sweet alyssum: Stalwart, reliable, fragrant trailer in white, cream, pink, and purple. Alyssum is exceptionally easy to grow and fills in beautifully, often reseeding itself.
  • Lobelia: Sound familiar? Yes, we often call on this little annual with clouds of cascading color in white, sky blue, dark blue, rose, lavender, and cobalt. Simply great in window boxes.
  • Pansies: Perfect in any box, pansies offer prolific color in many hues and quickly fill gaps between permanent plants or other annuals, offering long-lasting color.
  • Petunias: Choose these when you want a stunning summer box that shines in the sun. Try cascading varieties, as well as multifloras, for an abundance of blooms in a wide range of colors.
  • Impatiens: The plant for shade, and awesome in window boxes — especially valuable for continuous color in a range of hues. Use low-growing, dwarf varieties. New Guinea hybrids also offer excellent foliage.
  • Dianthus: You get the bonus of fragrance with the gift of color. Plants are well behaved. If all goes well, a breeze blows, sending sweet scents through your open windows.

Permanent plants

  • Ivy geranium: Yep. The selfsame winner in hanging baskets, this one also works really well in window boxes, gracing us with wonderful trailing stems covered with bright flowers. In cold climates, grow it as an annual.
  • Geraniums: Bedding geraniums are the classic window box plant — grown for clusters of brilliant flowers in colors ranging from white to crimson to apple blossom pink. Plants are easy to grow. Consider geraniums an annual in cold climates.
  • Dwarf bulbs: Forgive us for lumping so many bulbs together, but the miniature nature of many flowering bulbs — daffodils, crocus, grape hyacinth, cyclamen — makes them ideal players in the window box.
  • Ground ivy: Impressive long stems spill from your window box in shimmering green or variegated tones. Ground ivy can survive through winter in milder climates.
  • English ivy: Hardy, versatile, attractive, and useful for any box where you want trailing plants, ivy handles in sun or shade. For extra color, choose varieties with cream or yellow accents on the leaves.
  • Miniature roses: You have dozens to choose from, and each one can be trusted to perform elegantly and effectively in combinations with annuals or other permanent plants. Some varieties also offer fragrance.
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Categories: family, Home Tips, Landscape, Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “It’s Spring! Dress Up the Front of Your Home with Flower Boxes

  1. Nice job, its a great post. The info is good to know!

  2. Reblogged this on What's On My Mind / Boyce & Hart, Monkees and More and commented:
    this will work on my front landing; time to start planning

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