Window Gardening

The perfect garden for yard-less homes

Not everyone has the opportunity to create a beautiful yard and garden that stretches as far as the eye can see. You may not have acres of lawn, but if you have a window, you can grow a window garden.

What's tempting your green thumb?

Window gardens pass in and out of fashion, but if you're interested in any of the following, creating a window garden may be right for you.

  • Ornamentation - Most people choose to plant a window box for the beauty and color it adds to their home. Some popular flowers used in window boxes include petunias, geraniums, impatiens, begonias, pansies and daisies. Expect them to bloom all summer long.
  • Herbs - Herb gardens are great for a kitchen window, because the fresh herbs are always within the cook's reach. Popular herbs are basil, dill, thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley, bay and mint.
  • Food - Who said you need a yard to grow a vegetable garden? Many vegetables, such as peppers, tomatoes, peas, beans, lettuce and scallions, can also be grown in window planters.
  • Fragrance - A window box off the master bedroom is a great source for sweet aromas. Fragrant plants like lavender, jasmine, moonflowers, sweet alyssum, lemon thyme, peppermint and spearmint will draw you in long after you've started your day.

Don't forget, when planning your window garden you'll need to think of light. The amount of sunlight in the window will determine the types of plants that will grow best - for example, geraniums love the sun while begonias prefer the shade. If you want your window box to flourish, choose your plants accordingly.

Get a seed planter

The size of the window box is important, so choose a planter that is proportionate to the window. Anything too big or too small will look out of place and will be difficult to install. The material of the seed planter also needs to be considered. For more elegant window gardens, choose a planter made of terracotta, limestone or cast iron. Beginners, on the other hand, should stick to plastic planters that are much more practical. For a more natural look, choose wooden or matted straw window boxes (but keep in mind, if the material is organic, you need to make sure it is durable enough to prevent rot.)

Whether you decide to buy or make a window box planter, make sure it has holes in the bottom for proper drainage. Waterlogged soil will cause the plants to rot.

Greenhouse windows

For more ambitious window gardeners, window greenhouse kits are available. These wood- or aluminum-framed mini greenhouses fit into any window opening. They provide extra space for an indoor garden, catch maximum sunlight for your plants and protect them from the elements, allowing you to garden year-round. They are a beautiful addition to your home's exterior, as well.

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