Family Project: Creating a Window Box Garden

Being in the outdoors is a great way to spend time with the family. You and your loved ones can bring nature closer to home by creating a window box garden together. This project promotes closeness among family members and keeps them refreshed after a long work week while enhancing your home’s curb appeal.

by Sura Nualpradid /

Kick Start the Project

Getting ready entails purchasing the materials, setting a specific day for the project, and getting family members involved. Have on hand the following basic materials: a ready-made window box container made of metal, plastic, concrete, wood, or terra cotta; concrete screws; wood or metal brackets; gardening tools; and planting materials.

If you opt to make your own container, you will need wooden boards made of cedar or cypress; waterproof glue; acrylic paint; a paint brush; screws; and power tools, such as a drill and wood cutter.

Devote at least an entire day for the project: mom and dad should set aside work for the day! Get everybody excited by planning the details together. Gather around after dinner and sketch what the box would look like.

Surf the Net for plants that everyone loves and check different compositions to get an idea of which ones work best together. Choose annual plants if you want to change them regularly, perennials if not. On the actual day, get everybody ready by donning some old work clothes that are perfect for getting down and dirty. Gloves and sun hats are a must.

All this planning means you should have at least a week to prepare and purchase everything you need before your target project day.

by Simon Howden /

Prepare the Box

If you will be customizing your window box, make sure it is at least eight inches wide and deep to give ample space for the plants. Glue together the wooden boards and secure them with screws. Drill holes at the bottom for drainage.

If you purchase a container, all you will need to do is paint the container with a fun, stylish design. Let kids join the painting session by drawing a stencil of the design and assigning them which parts they can paint. A helpful tip is to choose treated wood boxes for an easier paint job.

Mount the Box

Mounting the window box after the paint has dried can be done using different methods. Mark a position that is a few inches or more below your window. You can place metal or wood brackets on the siding of your house then screw in the window box. You can also directly drill holes into the siding of your house and install the box using heavy-duty screws.

Plant the Greens

Now comes the most exciting part — planting! Combine upright plants as thrillers (not too tall as you do not want them to block the window), colorful flowering or non-flowering plants as fillers, and trailing plants as spillers.

Some popular annual plants are pansies, sweet alyssum, and impatiens, which are great shade plants. Petunias are also a favorite because they are easy to grow and have vivid colors. Perennial plants that give you a bright, colorful window garden throughout the year are ground ivy and English ivy, geraniums, and miniature roses.

For bold foliage, add coleus and licorice vine. Another interesting spiller is the sweet potato vine. One helpful tip if you are planting annuals is to place the plants in individual pots or containers and simply arrange these pieces in the window box.