Window Boxes, Zinc troughs, and terrazzo balcony planters... Window box ideas and planting suggestions.
Find your perfect windowbox, brackets and accessories at Window Box Ideas

Monday, 24 November 2008


Topiary can provide a great anchor to any windowbox planting scheme, but becomes especially important in the winter months.

If you want to include topiary shapes in your windowbox, but don't want to wait, try using a wire topiary frame in your windowbox and grow ivy through it instead...

Traditional plants such as box and yew can take several years to give the desired effect with a topiary frame, but ivy will produce a convincing shape far more quickly.

Alternatively, choose a topiary frame that will clip around an existing plant - so that you can trim it into shape...

New Topiary
New Topiary is this new technique for creating topiary forms using ivy and topiary frames. It has been developed over the last two decades in the USA, in particular at Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia, by topiary expert Patricia Riley Hammer.

Instead of training ivy over a bare frame, the topiary frame is stuffed with either sphagnum moss, or with a surface lining of sphagnum holding in a central core of compost. Rooted ivy cuttings are then planted into the frame and the shoots are pinned to the surface, into which they will root.

Hedera helix cultivars such as ‘Eva’, ‘Goldchild’ or ‘Shamrock’ are small leaved ivy's that are well suited to this method. Patricia advises that they should be spaced about 10-15cm (4-6in) apart. With careful irrigation, this method should give complete surface coverage in around three months.

For more information, you can read her book The New Topiary: Imaginative Techniques from Longwood Gardens

Topiary frames are sold from specialist shops - or you can make them yourself from chicken wire.

For smaller frames (which can be fiddly to make) it is often worth buying a pre-moulded topiary frame.

Small topiary frames
can be found at Windowbox Supply and specialist topiary companies

Monday, 17 November 2008

Window Boxes for Winter

Window boxes can make a great cheery display throughout the cold winter months.

To enjoy the best effect from your window boxes, you will need to remember a few window box rules:

1/ Choose a deep planter or window box.
Soil will help to insulate plant roots from the cold and freezing weather so make sure there is room for plenty of lovely soil in your window boxes.

2/Site your window boxes in a sheltered location.
Place them under porches or in deep window recesses if you can. Alternatively, site your window boxes where they will escape frosty weather, and receive plenty of sunshine.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Window box allotment : more inspiration

If you are inspired to try growing fruit and veg in your windowbox, but don't know where to start, there are plenty of books out there to guide you.

My favourites are: Crops in Pots: 50 Great Container Projects Using Vegetables, Fruit and Herbs and The Window-box Allotment: A Beginner's Guide to Container Gardening

Crops in Pots is written by Bob Purnell. It is a glossy book, filled with lovely inspiring images - but could be said to be a little light on practical content...

The Window-box Allotment by Penelope Bennett is a completely different affair. It is written in a lyrical, diary form without any pictures, but the writing is so evocative, you would almost be happy to read it as a novel!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Window box allotment :

This balcony allotment grows 5 different types of tomatoes, parmex carrots, purple sprouting broccoli, kale, mizuna, rocket, pak choi and chicory in terrazzo window boxes.

Notice how the 60cm terrazzo windowboxes are hung over the balcony rail, close butted together in a line, so they look like a giant planter. Very sleek

Sugar snap peas, leeks, sunflowers and a wide range of herbs are grown in tubs and windowboxes placed on the floor of the balcony like a planting trough.

Create a windowbox allotment, without having to grow your fruit and vegetables from seed, with these pre-grown vegetable plug plants.

£24.95 gets you a selection of baby growing plants
, in biodegradable coir pots. All you need to do is unpack them, and pop them in your windowbox - it's easy!

You will receive the following growing baby plants:

Dwarf French Green Beans x 3
Mixed lettuces x 10
Rocket x 10
Mizuna x 10
Spinach x 10
Golden streak mustard x 10
Spring onions x 10
Beetroot x 10
Basil x 1 pot
Parsley x 1 pot
Chives x 1 pot

This window box garden garden is ideal for those who would love to grow some of their own food but have little space or no garden available.

The plants can be grown in window boxes, pots, containers, in the garden, on a patio, roof terrace, balcony or on the window sill...

It's amazing how much you can harvest out of this garden - and it's so simple that no gardening experience is required! Order your windowbox allotment now for delivery Spring 2009

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Edible plants for your windowbox

Great tips from the Independent about the best edibles to grow in your windowbox.

My favourite Chanteray carrots get a mention - although parmex will also grow very happily in a windowbox...

Monday, 27 October 2008

More green and white themed window boxes and planters

Double windowboxes in white and green - with black gloss planter

Some more classic winter window boxes in white and green - it would be hard to make anything else work with the bold black and white tiles I guess.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Window Box Style - elegant white and green

White cyclamen with trailing ivy, and buxus spheres complement the blade like leaves of phormium and a slate grey window box.

White and green themed window boxes are everywhere at the moment. In a break away movement from the bright colours of summer flower box plantings, the trend for this winters windowbox is neutral whites, creams and greens...

Fake it with plastic plants in your windowbox.
Here fake buxus, fake ivy and fake white hydrangeas make a sublime planting combination for this planting trough

But look how much better it looks with real plants!

Here terrazzo cube planters containing tall clipped bay cones are underplanted with the soft domes of white hydrangeas. The large leaves of the hydrangea really softens the effect and introduces and new texture into the planting scheme.

This is a planting combination that could easily be ammended for a windowbox or long planting trough.

Monday, 13 October 2008


There is a saying that "Red and Green should never be seen" but when it comes to planting up garden pots and windowboxes, you can ignore this rule completely. The pictures of red windowboxes below prove why...

Red wooden windowbox planters are filled with buxus balls and the sharp colour contrast is softened by blue winter pansies...

Red and Green are complementary colours - this means that they are opposite on the colour wheel. Using red and green together in planting is particularly effective for winter displays as when placed next to each other, complementary colours make each other appear brighter.

You can make use of this colour device by using red and green planting together. Red cyclamens are seen here against the green of ivy. Alternatively you can use your pot or windowbox to provide a bold block of red and plant your container with evergreens such as buxus.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Classy white windowbox matches white wooden shutters

This elegant granite windowbox has been planted with trailing white petunias and the silver foliage of lavender. The white is an excellent choice for this setting as it complements the white window frame and the white wooden shutters inside the property - as well as toning in with the cream rendered walls of the house

Monday, 15 September 2008


I stumbled across these great planting displays on my Sunday morning ramble. It just goes to prove that you can plant almost anything.

I love this milk churn - doesn't it look romantic...

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

autumn window box planting plan

The new autumn planting plan for your windowbox has just been released at Garden Boutique.

Each season, a new window box planting plan is designed for customers by leading UK garden designer Alice Bowe

This planting plan comes free with every window box purchase - and with both traditional and adventurous planting suggestions on every planting plan, it's a great idea for an original birthday gift

Thursday, 4 September 2008


Galvanized zinc window boxes are a garden classic - and these gorgeous versions with their chunky lip are great value.

Available as a 40cm Galvanized Zinc window box or a 60cm Galvanized Zinc window box


When planting a windowbox, choosing plants to match your exposure is the key to success.

If you choose shade loving plants for a window box on a south or west-facing wall, the foliage will get scorched in the high light levels; and plants that thrive in full sun will grow tall and leggy in a northern exposure.


If you are planting a shady windowbox, try:

Hellebores - I particularly like H. orientalis 'Ballards Hybrids' but there are some lovely ones to choose from

Hosta - try mixing a few different sized hostas in the same planting for a lush effect

Fern's such as Polystichum Aculeatum (Hardy Shield Fern) and Adiantum (Maidenhair Fern) or even Asparagus falcatus (Asparagus Fern}

Shade loving herbs such as Parsley, Chive and Mint

Pansy - classic window box plant

Ivy - great for evergreen structure throughout the year

Fuschia - Elegant in hot pink or white

Hydrangea - looks great with ferns if you can get them small


If you are planting a sunny windowbox, try:

Lavender - classic when planted on it's own

Salvia - long flowering

Nasturtium - great for trailing over the side of your window box, and edible flowers too!

Sun loving herbs such as Basil, Oregano and Thyme

Strawberries - I particularly like to combine alpine strawberries with erigeron karviscianus

Verbena - another great long flowering essential

Wednesday, 3 September 2008


Back in 2003, a dozen members of the gardening elite were asked to each design a windowbox to raise money for charity at The Daily Telegraph House and Garden Fair. They were each given a zinc window box to style.

These mini show gardens range from the edible window box:

Roy Strong's zinc window box shown above - inspired by Beatrice Potter and Mr McGregor!

To the low maintenance window box:

This sumptuous planting was created by top garden designer Arabella Lennox Boyd and features pelargonium 'Lord Bute' and Helichrysum petiolare 'Silver' for summer long interest

To a miniature version of Versaille in a windowbox - created by Paul Cooper and Bonita Bulaitis

Find out more, and see the other windowbox creations in the Telegraph article of 2003

Buy your very own aged zinc window box from Garden Boutique and send us your designs!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


Italians seriously win at flowering balconies and window boxes...

I came across this great group on Flickr - and there are some really inspirational pictures...

I'm off to Rome in October - and can't wait to discover new ideas to share

It really does go to prove that it's as much about the window as the planting!!!


Window boxes are becoming so popular, they are now available as a poster!

But for those of you who are still keen to enjoy the real thing, you can recreate this look with ease.

Simply combine purple petunias, argyranthemum (I like 'Vancouver' or 'Petite Pink' , Lobelia (e.g. Royal Jewels) and the pale silvery foliage of the licquorice plant, Helichrysum petiolare in a white terrazzo planter...

I love the combination of silver, purple and green in a window box. It always looks beautiful.

Alternatively, you may prefer a pink colour scheme

You can recreate this look with lobelia and petunias. The key is to use several different petunias such as 'Pink Lady', Blue Daddy, and Picotee

But I must admit, I'm tempted to throw a double into the mix - such as this stunning Petunia 'Purple Pirouette'

(also available from Thompson and Morgan)


It has been said that anything can be used as a planter.... and Hanging Gardens Nursery in Essex certainly proved that with their contribution to this years Hampton Court Palace Garden Show


Fancy re-creating your favourite Chelsea garden in your own plot? The BBC has commissioned these great 'takeaway' planting schemes for borders and window boxes, so that you can do exactly that.

My favourites include the saturated colours of the QVC scheme from top designer Sarah Price and the pastel tones of Angus Thompson's windowbox for the Children's Society (shown above)


Great ideas for windowbox plantings in this article from the Saturday Times - with stunning illustrations from Hannah McVicar.

This scheme includes whispy tufts of carex and the delicately veined foliage of Heuchera ‘Pewter Moon’ plus deep-indigo petunias, trailing verbena and succulent sempervivum.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Pretty in Pink Flower Box

This lovely frothy pink planting is a simple combination of pink nemesia and pink pelargoniums.

Lime and Blue cottage style window box

A lovely mixed planting mixing foliage and flower... The pale off white Nicotiana 'Limegreen' at the back of the composition balances the lime foliage of Helichrysum petiolare 'Limelight' and the pale trailing petunia at the front. Bright blue violas draw the eye to the centre of the composition, whilst pale blue marguerites, lilac nemesias and purple sage anchor the scheme.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Edible Window Box

You don't need to have a big garden in order to grow your own fresh herbs and vegetables - a windowbox will do!

Most peoples priorities are for herbs and salad - although you can grow all sorts of things, from aubergines, to tomatoes, to sugar snaps - even those great short carrots (parmex etc)

Here is a cut and come again salad mix growing in a windowbox on the office balcony. At the moment, we are growing baby pak choi leaves, spinach, mizuna and land cress. There are also a few baby leeks in there - which I like to use in salads a bit like spring onions.

We also have a few windowboxes of herbs - chives, sage, thyme etc... Here we've added a few annual red salvias to brighten up the planting, along with the evergreen Heuchera 'Palace Purple'. Just beginining to trail over the front are some great double red petunias which are going to look fantastic against the black terrazzo planter - and should start flowering just as the salvias begin to fade.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Copper Window Box Planting

Here are a couple of ideas I planted up this spring...

don't the colours look gorgeous against the colour of our copper windowbox

COPPER WINDOW BOX planted with:
maroon Pelargonium , Cyclamen coum and a variegated trailing ivy

Why not try with Pelagonium 'Lord Bute' or 'Tornado'