I meant to get to this post last week, sorry for leaving you all hanging! I was all ready to shoot some photos of my flower boxes and my neighbor Linda’s (more on that in a minute) when Michigan had to get all confused and think it was winter for a minute again. I planted 12 flats of flowers and the temps immediately dropped and we had frost advisories 2 nights in a row, what’s up with that Michigan? Cue me breaking into panic mode and finding every old sheet and towel in the house to then rig up weird covers hanging out all my windows.
Anyways the freeze is over (hopefully!), we are finally warming up here and I’m ready to share my 5 tips for Gorgeous Window Boxes!
This is my 4th year planting my window boxes and every year I’ve tried something a little different, hoping to hit on just the right mix. Every year I aspire to be like my neighbor from down the street, Linda. She has the most gorgeous window boxes I have ever seen! I totally drool over them every time I walk by with Buddy, while he is busy barking his fool head off at Linda’s sweet springer spaniels.
This is only 2 weeks in on the planting season and they already look amazing. Don’t worry, I’ll show you some photos later in the summer when they are really in full bloom. I love this sweet little spot in their front yard, from the striped cushions the lace tablecloth, its just perfection.
Oh and let’s talk about how even her cute little garden shed has a “window box” – love it!
I asked Linda some of her tips, because the first year my boxes looked pitiful. I felt like I had baby window boxes that just wanted to be like hers when they grew up. I also threw a few tips in that I have discovered thru trial and error too.
TIP 1 : Start with good potting mix in your boxes. I don’t totally refill them every summer, because there is usually a lot of good soil left in them at the end of the season. I just churn up the old soil and add in the new and give it a good mix.
TIP 2: While you are mixing up that soil add these water storing crystals to the mix. These little things are a life saver! They absorb water and turn into clear jello looking blobs and hold the water in and slowly release it as needed. 4 of my flower boxes are on our 2nd story and it is a pain to hang out the window and water them every day, these allow me to skip that chore more often.
Miracle-Gro 100831 Water Storing Crystals, 12-Ounce
TIP 3: Fertilize, fertilize, fertilize! I use Miracle Gro Bloom Booster once a week (promise this is not an ad for miracle gro I just love the stuff). I could never figure out why my flowers didn’t get nice and full like Linda’s until she shared this tip with me.
Miracle-Gro 1360011 Water Soluble Bloom Booster Flower Food, 10-52-10, 1-Pound
TIP 4: Fill those boxes up! Ignore all the advice of the flower flats suggesting to space them so far from each other etc…I did that my first year and they looked so skimpy and never really filled in. You really want nice full boxes, I think I put almost a whole flat into each of my larger boxes.
TIP 5: Plant the right flowers for your space. You gotta think a little bit about your windows, sun vs shade, colors etc..
Linda’s boxes get plenty of sun all day and her windows open up, so she can do a beautiful mix of verbena, petunias, and white snow mountains.
My windows on the lake side get full sun beating down on them all day long and petunias seem to be the only flower that can stand up to the heat. My windows also open out, so I need to plant lower trailing flowers, nothing tall or I decapitate them when I try to water them out my window.
This year I’m trying something different and doing all petunias in bright pinks and purples, this is what they look like after surviving the frost.
I’ve realized over the past few years that if I plant a beautiful mix like Linda in my 2nd story windows you can’t really see them from the ground. I’m hoping the big mass of bright colors will really be visible from out on the lake.
Oh and if you have been hanging out here since last summer, you will notice our metal roof is finally done above! I’ll be back later in the week sharing updated photos of the outside of the completed sunroom, that I never got the chance to share.
Back to the flowers, last year I did a mix of shady and sunny flowers, because we cut down some trees and I wasn’t sure how that would affect the light they got and ended up with this – which I loved, but the impatiens got taller than I expected and it was nearly impossible to open our windows. let’s see how all petunias works out for me!
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