Creating Pretty Window Boxes Like a Pro

Give some seasonal personality to your home’s exterior with beautiful boxed blooms.

By Nancy Mattia

Installing a window box bursting with flowers in vivid colors and appealing shapes is like putting a piece of jewelry on your home’s exterior. The color, shape, and size of the flowers play an important role in getting the look right.

Check out these pro tips: 

1. Have a plan

You want to approach planning your window box the same way you would plan for any gardening endeavor, says Rebecca Sears, chief gardening guru for Ferry-Morse. “Consider key elements such as sunlight, maintenance, space, and environment,” she says.

2. Make it a singular sensation

Creating a window box with just one type of flower is stunning in its simplicity. ”The single-variety approach works best with large brightly colored flowers, like petunias and pansies,” says Sears. “Having one consistent shape with bold color makes a modern, vibrant statement.” Make sure the flower you choose doesn’t have a tall stem so that you can avoid having empty space between the container and the blooms.

3. Go for the classic thriller-filler-spiller method

This is another of Sears’ favorites. “It’s easy to follow and designed to create a balanced shape,” says Sears. The first step is choosing “thriller” flowers, which become the vertical focal point of your window box. They’re often a taller, more eye-catching flower, like zinnia or lavender, or ornamental grass like the fountain variety.

Next are the “fillers,” which add body and fill out any remaining space. “You could go with a flower such as marigold or even an herb like basil or spearmint,” says the gardening pro. Last, you’ll need space around the outer edge of the box for “spillers,” which will cascade over the planter’s edges.

“Two of my favorite trailing plants are sweet potato vines, an incredibly versatile accent that is adaptable to full sun or shade, and thunbergia, with lively orange, yellow, or white blossoms with dark centers.” A word of caution: Don’t overcrowd the window box.

4. Match it to your home’s exterior (maybe)

Consider your goal for the window box and how it relates to your home, says Sears. “Does it blend with the style of your home? Is it the star of the show for the season or maybe it’s signaling a new season with timely annuals?” The color of your home, the container, and shutters are all worth considering when pulling together your flowers and plants to make sure they pop or blend how you would like.

5. Give them a good soak

Before removing plants from the plastic pots they came in, water them well for best results. Voila!