Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Love Window Boxes!

My favorite part of spring gardening is planting my window boxes. They are container gardens which really add a lot of curb appeal to your house. I like mixing it up....mixing annuals, perennials, herbs, even veggies! My approach to planting....

  • If all the flowers died, would your window boxes still look great? They should! Start with a cool mix of "foliage" plants, such as Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea--it comes in different colors like lime green and dark purple) ivy, herbs (I have 4 different kinds of mint, including chocolate mint and pineapple mint, thyme is also great, lemon verbena, etc), Licorice Plant (Helichrysum)--which is a wonderful silvery color. Mix up different colors and textures. Then you're ready for the flowers!
  • I like mini Dahlias, Calibrachoa, and Violas (pansies and Johnny Jump-Ups). They last all summer, just be sure to dead-head the spent blooms.
  • Don't skimp on the white! White flowers make all the other colors pop.
  • Mix growth habits....some plants should be tall, some trailing. It looks lovely mixed together.
  • Add in "useful" plants. Pop a mini cherry tomato plant into the box--it adds color, texture, and you'll be munching on yummy cherry tomatoes in August. Do you like to cook? Add lemon balm, golden thyme, oregano, rosemary, mint. You can pinch off pieces of herbs to use when you cook, and the plants will grow back. Most herbs are perennials, and will come back the next year. 
  • One of the reasons I love Violas is that they are edible. Try adding Nasturtiums, Violas, Calendula...and other edible flowers to the boxes. I sprinkle the edible flowers on top of fruit salads.

Here are orange Dahlias, purple and white Calibrachoa, lime green Sweet Potato Vine, Helichrysum, and 2 types of yellow Violas.

The Sweet Potato Vine gets huge! It's an awesome plant....gets full and lush and trails over the side of the boxes.

This one has chocolate mint growing in the back. Yum!

I love mixing bold colors together, and adding white for pop. Jewel tones look really, purple, magenta. Gorgeous!

Any other cool tips for window boxes or container gardens? Let me know!

Happy Gardening,