My last window box mix worked out great and lasted a full year! I wanted some long term plants in the boxes because we had multiple projects stacking up and I didn’t want to fuss with them season to season.
A few weeks ago I realized I had to give the boxes some attention. The plants did exactly what I asked of them – last one year – and then became very sad and tired.
Yikes, right? Yes, with some care and deadheading they’d come back, but I was bored looking at the same flowers. Out with the old and in with the new! I hadn’t taken the time to start flowers from seed, so off to the nursery I went.
Whenever I’m at a nursery, for what seems like forever, I look around for combinations I think would work nicely in a window box or hanging basket. I’m not quick about it. It definitely takes me some time because I want an interesting mix of what you’d typically see in boxes (in-season annuals) with atypical choices (a perennial or succulent). This time I chose a mix of annuals and perennials.
Here’s what the Lisianthus will look like when it flowers:
And the Lobelia:
Ever heard the pros use the term “thriller, filler, spiller”? The “thrillers” are the star of the show. Place them in the center. Choose a tall, upright plant. Both the Lisianthus and Lobelia will get about 2 feet tall and are the “thrillers.” The “fillers” go around the “thriller(s).” Three plants are ideal but you can plant less or more depending on your arrangement. (I only chose the two Pink Alyssum because of lack of room with the Lemon Licorice spiller in the middle front.) Lastly, the “spillers” are used to anchor your container plantings by spilling over the edge. The Lemon Licorice and Petunias will eventually spill for me.
Here’s how I went about planting:
~ In the bottom of each window box the hubby drilled three 1/2″ drainage holes.
~ I placed about an inch of pea gravel down to improve drainage.
~ I then placed landscape fabric down and stapled it to the top insides of the boxes (this prolongs the life of the boxes by keeping the dirt from directly touching the wood.
~ Filled the box with a mix of good potting soil and compost. Then, trimmed the landscape fabric. I did end up taking some dirt out of the box as I filled it too high.
~ Dug the holes, watered a bit to allow the soil to settle, and broke up the root balls to promote new growth. Tip: Before doing this, research the plant to be sure it isn’t fussy about its roots. Years ago, I broke up a root ball on a plant that didn’t like it and I lost the plant. I later realized why I lost it after I did some research. So, don’t be a ding dong like me. Read up on your plants before transplanting!
~ Planted them in place, filled in with soil, watered some more, filled in with more soil, and voila!
By the way, no, your eyes are not deceiving you. In the far box, the white flower on the ends is Phlox. The Phlox was supposed to be for another area, but when I realized I didn’t buy enough Petunias (blonde moment), I improvised and planted the Phlox in the second box.
Here’s some close up images:
I can’t wait for the boxes to fill in over the summer!