It’s finally springtime in New England and if you’re anything like me, you’ve been spending whatever extra time you have cleaning up the backyard, raking forgotten leaves from the fall and re-soiling the raised beds for summer plantings. Sweeping up the decks and fixating patio furniture is also on the to-do list along with pulling out the pots and urns that will need to be filled. One important warm weather task that you won’t want to forget is the designing of this year’s window boxes! These spiffy little gardening accessories are perfect for any home including apartments and condominiums so you’ll want to stock up at your local garden center or hardware store. Although window boxes are constructed with a wide variety of materials including vinyl, plastic and ceramic, in my experience the best are usually made with wood such as pine or cedar. You’ll find that they compliment most outdoor paint, brick and tile as well as protect your plants better than other compounds. Most containers can be securely fastened to window ledges or just placed on railings that have a wide width. If you are not using screws to connect directly to the outside wall, be sure to place the boxes on the ground when wind or storms are present to prevent breakage.
photo credit:Flower Factor via Flickr
Once you have everything set up the way you like, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to plant. Depending on your taste for color and texture, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are lots and lots of beautiful flowers to choose from that thrive in this type of growing environment. If you’re looking for an early blossom that can withstand colder temperatures common to April and the beginning of May, the pansy is just what you’re looking for. These cheery early bloomers come in almost every shade including red, yellow, purple and orange. Installments can either be one tint or interchanged with one another forming a sensational rainbow spectrum. If you want to wait it out a bit for the thermometer to raise a smidge, your options increase greatly. Nurseries typically try to wait out the impulse buyers and will temporarily hold off filling their racks with product that they know can’t live outdoors through the night. So in the case, patience is a virtue. Right around mid to late May, greenhouses are ready to show you their goodies that are properly habitable for the New England summer season. Be on the lookout for geraniums in red, white and pink, which make fabulous window box treatments. Easy to maintain and a plant that thrives on the heat, they create quite a commotion with their extra large heads and intoxicating smell. Another breed that is sure to impress are fragrant herbs such as rosemary and lavender. They are virtually impossible to kill, are often priced reasonably for the frugal customer and compliment outdoor dining events with their delicious scents.
photo credit: Flower Factor via Flickr
Enjoy the rest of the spring clean up session and get ready for the stunning gardens you’ll be able to plant within your window boxes!