One of the things I love best about springtime is the riot of flowers in flourishing gardens. There's nothing more spring-like than full blooming blossoms in a full spectrum of colors – they really can brighten your day just by looking at them. One of the problems with living in an apartment, though, is that it's hard to grow a garden. I have on-site landlords, and they have gorgeous gardens, but I've always been a little iffy about asking if I can have a plot of my own. Other apartment dwellers may have that problem as well, but there's a way around the issue – window boxes! You can grow assorted fruits and vegetables in window boxes as well, but right now, here are some tips for growing window box flowers.
Although the flowers themselves are certainly important, another crucial tip for growing window box flowers is to consider the boxes themselves. For starters, you need to choose a style that complements your house or building. It needs to complement it architecturally, so that it doesn't create an unsightly contrast. A lot of people like window boxes made out of plastic, terra cotta, metal, and even concrete; while they work, they are also difficult to work with, so soft or hardwood might be a better choice.
Sizing is also enormously important. It's fine to make a window box wider than your window – and, in fact, that tends to look better; it also lends a sense of balance. You have to take many things into consideration when measuring and sizing your boxes. If you have shutters, that makes a huge difference, but regardless, make sure the boxes are at least 8 inches wide and deep. Your flowers will need the room.
Naturally, you need to make your window boxes have plenty of sun. The sunniest exposures in your home will make the best locations. If your boxes have protection from the rain, that's okay, just make sure you keep an eye on the soil. Plus, there are plenty of plants and flowers that not only do well in the shade, they thrive in it. It all depends on what you end up planting.
Another great tip for growing window box flowers has to do with how you accessorize your window sized garden. While walking in the park, around the neighborhood, or out in the woods, look for pretty and interesting looking rocks. They can be rounded or angled, and you can even paint them if you like. Either way, they'll make a great addition between your flowers.
You also have to think carefully about what kinds of flowers you wish to plant. In matters of comeliness, for example, consider how the flowers will look against the outside of your home, i.e. bright flowers look wonderful against wood and light colored siding. However, the flowers themselves are much more important. Do you want annuals, such as pansies, petunias, and the like? Perhaps you're more interested in permanent plants, like miniature roses, geraniums, and ivy.
When planting window box flowers, you also have to give a good deal of thought to the right container mix. Many great gardeners recommend soil-less media, since it is extremely lightweight, and is far less likely to have any insects or plant diseases. They usually contain things like peat moss, cocoa fibers, and bark, along with vermiculite and pearlite.
Another helpful tip for growing window box flowers is your choice of fertilizer. Window boxes need fertilizer just as much as anything else. Again, a lot of gardeners recommend either water soluble fertilizers, or slow release ones.
There's absolutely no harm in decorating the window boxes themselves, either. I know it may not seem important, but since I myself like to paint and decorate anything that will stand still long enough, I had to add the tip! After all, people are more apt to see window boxes, and you can really show off your creativity and originality by making a pretty receptacle for your flowers.
Now, though, let's take a trip away from the flowers. If you want to grow more in window boxes, feel free to branch out! As briefly mentioned, you can also grow vegetables and some fruits in window boxes, with surprising ease. Better still, you can make your own herb garden, so that it will flourish right outside your window!
I hope these tips for growing window box flowers have been helpful. I feel inclined myself to go out and start right now. Gardening is both relaxing and rewarding, after all, and even if you don't have a lot of yard space, you can still nourish a green thumb. Do you have any other tips for window boxes?
Top Photo Credit: loisberg12
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