Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Window Box Planters Will Add Charm To Any Exterior


Window box planters and raised deck and balcony planters full of blooms, greenery, and cascading vines brighten dark and uninteresting areas of the exterior of your home, soften harsh lines and materials, and add dramatic focal points. Make your planters harmonize with their surroundings by considering color, texture, and design before choosing a home for your plants. Nothing says romantic like plant tendrils, vines, and flowers spilling over a balcony; the cottage look is enhanced by cheerful flowers in picturesque window boxes, and elegant planters with stunning color-coordinated blossoms are an outstanding choice for the windows of a formal home.





Types of Window Box Planters

1. Ceramic – Large ceramic planters aren't a popular choice for window boxes because of their weight, but you can find small planters to fit on sills and railings and to hang against walls. You may lose your heart to one since they are available in so many colors and designs and they certainly are suitable if you have a safe site.
2. Fiberstone – This is a material made of real limestone mixed with fiberglass to produce planters with the look, feel, texture, and durability of limestone but are light and waterproof and make an excellent window box choice.
3. Ironworks – Ironworks make artistic window boxes of welded steel dipped in a rust-proof coating (e.g., black plastic) and designed as baskets with lining of natural fiber or coco moss.
4. Wood – One of the most popular choices for raised planters and window boxes is rot-resistant wood like cedar or redwood, which can be adapted to all architectural styles.
5. Plastic – Plastic is light, moisture proof, and a popular choice for hanging planters, but is less commonly used for window boxes because it is not as strong or durable as many other choices.
6. Fiberglass – This is a good material for window boxes because it is light, moisture proof, and durable, and is available in many different styles, colors, and textures.
7. Metal – Metal window boxes (e.g., wrought iron) are popular for their charm and functionality and, like ironworks, are usually designed in a basket style because of their weight and are lined with fiber or moss to retain soil and moisture.

Secrets of Success

1. Raised and window box planters should be at least eight inches high and ten or more inches across. The length is a matter of choice, but for window boxes, the container should fit snugly on the ledge. If you have a very long window, it might be advisable to fit one or more boxes end to end, just to make them easier to handle than one long, unwieldy container.
2. Make sure the window ledge – or the railing on your deck or balcony – can support the weight of the container, the watered soil, and fully-grown plants, especially if the box is one or more stories off the ground. Use screws, wires, chains, or whatever it takes to make sure that your planters aren't going anywhere without your approval.
3. In the spring, you can grow flowers like primroses that need only three or four hours of sunlight, and then, as the day lengthens, switch to colorful geraniums and other blooms that require more sun. It is a lot easier to re-plant raised patio planters and window box planters than re-plant beside garden pathways or in garden beds. If your window box planters don't ever receive much sun, grow an assortment of the many beautiful shade plants available.
4. It is easy to change outdoor color schemes when you are a container gardener. Color theme plantings are fun and garden planters lend themselves to the process. Try monochromatic color schemes in white (e.g., verbena, bacopa, marguerit, alyssum, and white petunia), pink (e.g., pink petunias and geraniums, and pelargonium), or use gentle mixed colors (e.g., candytuft, pansy, lavender, and mixed petunias), or brilliant splashes of color (e.g., pansy, nasturtium, and dwarf marigold).
5. What better place for your herb garden than a window box? Picture yourself opening the window and pinching off fresh parsley or basil for your dinner. Yum.

City, town or country dweller – everyone should have the fun of window box gardening.

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