How To - Dried Flowers


Garden Stories

An Easy Recipe for Stunning Window Boxes

Popped under a windowsill or placed on the ground, a window box offers a chance to create plant combinations that wow in sun or shade. Filled with flowers or colorful foliage, they add character and cottage charm whether underneath a window or perched on a deck railing.


In this video, Heather Sherwood, senior horticulturist, shares her expert tips for planting window boxes that are visually stunning with familiar plants and flowers as the show stoppers.

sun window box

For the sun window box, she planted ivy geranium, dusty miller, and mini petunia.

shade window box

For the shade window box, she planted oxalis, tradescantia, begonias, alyssum, and fern.


Here are her tips to make your window boxes perfect: 

Choose a box that matches the style of your house.

White trim calls for a white box. A lighter weight decorative stone-type box would enhance a Chicago bungalow with its cement trim. Drainage holes are a must for any window box.

Choose your plants. 

Consider how much sun or shade the box will receive. Annuals work great for summer color and texture.

Use lightweight soil-less container mix (not garden soil). 

Check the label—some contain fertilizer granules that feed the plants for up to four months. (Tip: If you replant the box with the same soil next year, add more granules.)

Add the soil-less mix within an inch or two of the rim so there’s room to set in the plants. Add more potting mix as needed. When you’re done planting, the potting mix should be a half-inch or so below the rim so it won’t spill out when watered.

Before planting. 

Water the plants first if they’re dry and then carefully remove them from the pots and set them in the box. Surround them with more potting mix and tamp it down lightly. Lift the box and tap it gently on the ground to settle the potting mix around the roots to eliminate air pockets.

Give the newly planted box a gentle sprinkle until water runs out the bottom. Keep the plants watered, especially during hot, dry summer days. Soil-less potting mix dries out quickly so be prepared to water daily. For flowering annuals, a water-soluble fertilizer used every other week, keeps the show going.

Pour some iced tea, sit back, and enjoy.