Build a Window Box
Creative Curb Appeal for Window Gardens.
By Rob Robillard
There is much to say about the humble window box. As a low-tech garden and home beautifier, it is peerless! Fill it with a few bright flowering plants from your local nursery and, voilà, you look like a gardening wizard.
Window boxes can add an array of seasonal color and enhance the curb appeal of almost any structure. Window box gardening can be a fun and relaxing way to express your creativity or create a small garden in a cityscape.
I even know a guy in my neighborhood who grows his medicinal marijuana in a 3rd floor window box.
For the landless city dweller, window boxes provide a way to garden and even provide a source for seasonal herbs and vegetables.
Of course there are a few details to consider. It’s not simply a matter of getting any old box and nailing it to the window-sill. As with all home improvements, decisions must be made and certain materials and techniques are better than others.
History of the Window Box
The use of window boxes dates as far back as the first century B.C in ancient Rome where they were used to keep small gardens for cooking herbs, medicinal herbs, and flowers for rituals and decoration.
They were also seen among the lower classes, in small villas where peasants had little gardening space. Many people used window boxes to grow plants for food, medicine and religious uses.
Window boxes come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional wall-mounted window boxes to freestanding boxes and even indoor window boxes.
Build Your Own
This article will explain how to build a cedar window box and customize the dimensions to fit your desired window space. Window boxes are relatively easy projects. Because our boxes were extra large, we added some features to the design that some folks may choose not to do. Either way, the project requires only a few tools to complete.
Before you get started here’s a few things to ask yourself:
- What materials do you want your window box be made of?
- How big does your window box need to be?
- What height and depth is best for the plants that you want to pair with your home?
Name a construction material and no doubt someone, somewhere out here has made a window box out of it. Wood, plastic, zinc, copper, iron, tin, ceramic, terra cotta, wire, rubber tires, fiberglass—you name it, it’s been used. After you’ve selected the style you want, take a look at the materials available. If your windows get bright sun all day, it’s a good idea to avoid dark-colored or solid metal boxes, which could heat up and dry out your plants.