Window Boxes, Zinc troughs, and terrazzo balcony planters... Window box ideas and planting suggestions.
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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