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Window Boxes that won’t Fall Apart

Hey guys! If you follow me on instagram, you know I was on a fun girls trip this past weekend. It’s the 4th year we have gone and we always get away around Mother’s day. Let me tell you, the absolute best Mother’s day gift is a few days away with your friends to recharge your batteries. My parent’s were nice enough to loan us their FL house for the weekend and we had the best time. We hung out on the beach, enjoyed eating actual hot food at leisurely dinners, and of course toasted the Royal Wedding with a mimosa or two…The Mr. managed to keep our kids alive and surprisingly clean for the weekend (it seems they actually changed their clothes and bathed by some miracle) and he even tackled the science fair solo. Public pat on the back to you sir!

I have a bunch of fun posts coming for you all as soon as I can I rope the Mr. into helping me move some furniture. He was in Hong Kong on business the whole week before I was gone in Florida, so we currently have two coffee tables sitting in the living room and two rugs sitting in our master bedroom. Not to mention 42 boxes of outdoor furniture to put together. I promise the master bedroom and living room refresh posts will be coming soon as well as pool house progress, just as soon as my favorite moving man and I are in the same state at the same time.

In the meantime, I did some instastories when I was planting my flower boxes earlier this week, and I received a ton of questions about the actual flower boxes themselves, so I thought I would share them here on the blog.

A window box planted with flowers

The guy who built all our cabinets came up with this idea for how to build these window boxes that won’t fall apart. He actually just made false fronts for the boxes and we used plastic liners for the actual boxes.

window box tips

At our last house we had solid wood flower boxes and they started to split and rot after 5 years of watering and wet soil. You can see in the old photo above that the corners are splitting and falling apart.

A dog sitting in front of a window

Don’t mind my window stalker above, he is making sure the neighborhood cats don’t enter his territory…

A window box filled with flowers

This idea is so smart! They don’t have to touch any of the actual soil, which protects the wood from rotting. He also used a composite material called Azek to build them, which is more resistant to water damage.

But you can see he built a 1/2 basic rectangle with a piece of trim for the lip, and he secured it to the house with these metal brackets.

Window flower boxes that don't rot

Then he used metal brackets to secure the plastic liner to the house, so it’s almost a faux window box because the actual box isn’t holding anything up. This makes caring for them so much easier too and they drain really well.

Window flower boxes that don't rot

Don’t be alarmed by the dirt on the house, I just planted these and spilled some dirt in the process. I don’t usually have issues with dirt running down the house when I water unless we get a crazy hard rain.

Flower box tips

I used a different mix of flowers this year than last, because I’m still trying to figure out what will work best with the part shade/part sun situation in the front yard. I did double impatiens, wave petunias, creepy jenny, and these pretty purple and white super bells.

A window box filled with flowers

They’ve only been planted a few days, but hopefully they will be overflowing like these at our old house soon.

widow box tips

Check out my post here for all my flower box tips and tricks!

window box tips

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  1. What are the rough dimensions of the front, large window boxes? I want to steal this fantastic idea, and make sure I get the proportions right.
    My front windows are 5′ wide..

  2. Hi Kelly,

    Love your blog and insta! We have a lake house 3 hours north of Detroit and we’re starting to spend our whole summer there (we live in CO) so I finally get to landscape/plant/install dripline/etc. All of the fun! I’ve always adored your window boxes. I’m in a similar situation with window boxes of morning sun is most direct but we’re kind of angled so it doesn’t fully go behind the house in the afternoon. Anyway, trying to make my plans for the window boxes and then on the other side of the house (afternoon sun) the landscaping on the side of the entryway.

    Have you found that vinca vines do better than creeping jenny in your boxes in the morning sun or no real difference and you’ve just changed to vinca based upon personal preference?

    Any MI gardening resources – people or sites that you can recommend?

    1. Oh fun! Both did really well for me I just like switching it up! I don’t have any good MI gardening sources that aren’t super-local unfortunately. Good luck!

  3. How is the wood frame (the window box portion) attached to the plastic and wall?

  4. Great idea on the window boxes! But to me self watering plastic window boxes trump these ?. In my hot Oklahoma summers i can get by around 3 days before watering again. When it’s less hot i can at times get by with a week not watering. Mine also has a tube on top with a little marker on it as to how much water is in the tank at the bottom of the box. So from inside the window i can check when i need to water again. I guess you could always just replace your inner plastic boxes with self watering ones if you wanted to. ? plants that i like in my window boxes are Blue Daze, ivy geraniums, New Gold lantana, Scopia Gulliver Blue sensation (Bacopa Dancop), I did some petunias last year but i like a mix of flowers for a more cottage garden feel.
    I love your house and your window boxes.

    1. Thanks Martha, I guess I’m kind of weird and actually like watering my flower boxes. :) I’m always puttering around outside with my flowers. But that’s a great idea if you are looking for low maintenance!

  5. Beautiful!! I think those purple and white flowers are actually torenia (fishbone flowers).

  6. I use you post about “packing in tons of flowers in” every year! I love that they already look full and I thank you for your insight and tips!

  7. My husband came up with a similar idea when he built my window boxes 5 years ago. I thought it was brilliant. However, we nixed those as I didn’t want someone to look up at our sons 2nd story window and see the bottom. ?So he came up with a unique “lattice” pattern bottom to help with drainage he routed out and constructed the window boxes entirely out of wood grain-look vinyl planks and trimmed them out with recessed paneling. Although a little pricey to build, not only are they maintenance-free, five years later, they still look new! And gorgeous?Definitely a fave project inspired by YOUR previous home’s stunning flower boxes that I just couldn’t get out of my head until my dear hubs finally made them for my Mother’s Day gift 2013! So when you built this house, I was thrilled to see window boxes again for more great ideas season to season!?

  8. I live in Indianapolis, Indiana and I have window boxes that need to look the same, but that get very different light. The answer has been dragon wing begonias. Check them out, they are gorgeous and flourish in all types of sun.

  9. Such a great idea! Will look forward to pics when they are in all their mid summer glory! ?

  10. Something tells me there are men everywhere who now have a new Memorial Day weekend project on the “to do list”! Lucky for your cabinet man you didn’t put his name in the post! He did a fantastic job building them and you did a fantastic job filling them. A double win. They will be full and more beautiful in no time!

  11. I have second floor windows and wonder if we could put a bottom on the box so that you don’t see the opening when you look up at the house.

    1. We built our window boxes with a similar goal in mind. The window box is actually a “sleeve” that covers a plastic liner like Kelly’s but we support the bottom differently and it might work for your 2nd floor installation. My liners did not have drainage holes so I drilled 6 holes in each liner, 3 down each side. I line the bottoms of all of my planters with coffee filters so that water drains but not dirt. The sleeve has a wide board that runs from end to end on the bottom and that acts as a support for the liner without blocking the drainage holes. Its worked great for me over the years. The board covers most of the bottom. You could make the sleeve deeper and recess the bottom support board a little and it would show even less.

  12. This is genius! I have my vinyl window boxes sitting on those same L brackets and while it looks okay once the flowers fill out, it doesn’t look finished. I have investigated new window boxes but they really are quite out of my budget. Love your solution!

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