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What is a Window Box?

By R. Kayne
Updated May 17, 2024
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A window box is a great way to bring color and life to your house. A type of container gardening, a window box is a rectangular, trough-shaped portable garden that can be fasted beneath a window filled with blossoming flowers.

A window box might be made of wood, PVC material, or just about anything sturdy. Home and gardening departments have many styles to choose from. Some are lattice like, painted white in the style of a picket fence, while others are left natural. A PVC window box might be pallid, taupe, or the color of red clay to appear ceramic.

The most wonderful thing about a window box is that flowers add such a welcoming accent to the outside of the house, and can also be seen from inside! Open your curtains each morning to the shining faces of bright golden marigolds, deep red pansies, peach sunsatia, or "buttercup" lemon drops. Or maybe an herb garden is more your style. Making spaghetti sauce? Just peek out the window to see if there's some fresh basil. You can also grow a hanging garden from a window box to add lush greenery and, with a few garden palms, a tropical flair.

A window box should have some type of drainage in the bottom, and the lattice style will require a liner. One type of liner is made from coconut fiber and keeps soil moist, aerated and warm while allowing excess moisture to escape. The liner is sold in lengths to fit many standard window box sizes. A window box usually attaches to the house with wood screws, but if you have any doubts about the best way to attach it, ask someone at your local home improvement center. Vinyl siding, plaster, stucco, adobe or other facings might require screw anchors or a different method.

If you're feeling crafty, you can make your own window box from lumber. Make one for each of the front windows, and if you're really on a roll, the back windows too! How can a house have too many flowers? The window box is normally the length of the window, 5-7 inches wide (127—178mm) and about 8 inches deep (203mm), but this is very general. You can get an idea for dimensions by looking at a garden shop or home improvement center for the window boxes you like best. You might even decide to simply buy them. Don't forget the soil and flowers!

Flowers, plants and greenery make a home look bright, cared for and happy. Nothing will brighten the outside of your home more than a window box beneath each window. If they will be hanging over planters, you might want to pick up a few stepping stones so you can tend to the plants in the boxes without stepping in the dirt below. Or if you don't have a green thumb, consider silk plants and flowers.

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