Summer is the perfect time of year to make your surroundings more beautiful by using the colourful plants and flowers that are in full bloom. Even if you have no outdoor space, or you’re new to gardening, creating a window box is something everyone can do.
A vibrant splash of colour in the window can brighten up your day and is a simple way of learning more about plant cultivation if it’s something you haven’t tackled before. A window box is easy to maintain and looks good from both indoors and out.
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It can be particularly useful if you live in an urban area or a flat, where there’s little or no garden space. If you’re lucky, your property may already have a window box installed. If not, you can create one yourself, either on a window sill, or hung on your balcony railings.
Starting from scratch
If you’re starting from scratch, you may need to have brackets installed to safely hold your window box in place. It pays to get a DIY enthusiast or a professional tradesman to do this, as it’s likely to involve drilling. Don’t risk the window box falling off if this is a job you can’t do yourself!
Choose a box that has drainage holes, so it doesn’t become waterlogged. Remember, if your window opens outwards, you may need to lower the box and have it hanging with brackets, rather than actually on the window ledge, as it may obstruct your window.
Once you’ve chosen the flowers, you can buy them ready to plant at a garden centre. Try to combine a mixture of trailing plants and flowers of different sizes for variety.
You can also grow fruit, veg and herbs in a window box. They can be handy if they’re growing outside the kitchen window, as you can pick truly fresh ingredients and use them right away for cooking or desserts. Ideally, find plants that suit the growing conditions, depending on whether your box is mainly in the shade or the sun.
You can include stones, pebbles or small garden ornaments for extra interest. You can also add solar lights to make it stand out!
Planting a window box
It’s easy to plant up a window box. If you’re reusing an old box, make sure you clean out any used soil or debris from last season – you need fresh soil to ensure the best plant growth. If you want to plan how your window box will look, line up the plants first in their existing pots to get an idea of colours and arrangements.
Check that the window box is in the correct position before you start planting, as it will be much harder to move afterwards when it’s full of soil. Line it with plastic first if you wish, to make it easier to remove the soil each year but remember to put drainage holes in the plastic too.
Place the plants in pre-dug holes and pack the compost around them, making sure they are firm. Lightly water the new plants, wipe down the window box to remove any excess soil from the sides and you’ve finished! Continue to water regularly and use fertiliser where required.
However big or small, window boxes can look pretty. Brightening up your home’s décor with vibrant colours, or a splash of green, they are low-maintenance and a great way for a beginner to get into gardening. It’s time to start transforming your home now!
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