October 5, 2016

How To Plant and Style a Fall Window Box


A bright, early fall example of how to style a window box with greenery, seasonal flowers and fruits of the season: gourds, pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns.
A bright, early fall example of how to style a window box with greenery, seasonal flowers and fruits of the season: gourds, pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns.

In our highly fractured political climate, it is hard to get Americans to agree on anything. But I feel fairly certain, that given a vote or taken a poll, we would get close to 100% consensus that window boxes are a charming way to add greenery, softness and seasonal flair to one's home and outdoor spaces.  I wrote an article for SOUTHERN LIVING Magazine (here) not too long ago about the hows and whys and wheres for building, planting and maintaining a stylish little window box garden. You can read the article Thinking Outside the Window Box (here) and also get a glimpse of the way I had mine styled for fall a few years back. This year, I am all about traditional autumn plantings and colors, hence my 2016 version with classic mums, pumpkins and gourds. With a plugin jack-o-lantern or two for added pop and in deference to that quintessentially American holiday, Halloween.

A straight on view, clearly showing the layers of plantings...thrillers, fillers, and spillers...topped off with decorative gourds and pumpkins.
A straight on view of the window box, clearly showing the layers of plantings...thrillers, fillers, and spillers...topped off with decorative gourds and pumpkins.
(BTW, I am trying to get back in the blogging groove after ATT, Apple and Blogger all conspired against me to wreak havoc on my digital life. One happy unintended consequence however, was that I took this down time to up my game on Instagram,  (you can follow me as potagerblog here) and I have been posting lots of pics of my fall garden, past and present, with garden design tips and styling tricks you might find helpful in your own gardens.) 

But I digress, back to planting and styling the window box.

Remember that most of the time, your window box will be seen up close at an angle from either side as visitors and family enter and exit your home. This long angled view, in my opinion, is far more engaging than the straight on perspective.
Remember that most of the time, your window box will be seen up close at an angle from either side as visitors and family enter and exit your home. This long angled view, in my opinion, is far more engaging than the straight on perspective.

In terms of the contents, I employ the classic thriller, filler, spiller container formula. Aka, plants to add drama and vertical interest, plants to fill out the composition and add color, and trailers to spill out and cascade over the edge, adding texture, romance and softness to the composition. PROVEN WINNERS has a good description and example of this container design technique here.

Ideally, I like my window box thriller(s) to be evergreen, to provide year round interest and prevent planting them repeatedly year after year. But generally, in my situation anyway, they normally last a year or two max because of a change in the light and southern exposure ....as weather events are constantly messing with my trees to change my box's cultural environment and its demands from one season to the next.



Bright mums whose colors can be seen from a distance, along with shiny gourds, catch the light and add to the magic.
Bright mums whose colors can be seen from a distance, along with shiny gourds, catch the light and add to the magic.

The spillers, however, tend to me more long lasting and generally hang in there year round. That leaves the seasonal color each fall, spring, winter and summer, to comprise the majority of the filler that is tucked in with each season's transition.  Consequently the recipe for my 2016 Fall Window Box is:

Three plug in jack-o-lanterns add to the allure of this small window box garden.
Three plug in jack-o-lanterns add to the allure of this small window box garden.

2 Boxwood Cones + five 6" Mums + (about 16 total) 2" Ivy, Wire Vine and Lamium.

Sprinkle with cheery pumpkins, gourds and varied colored squashes to taste.


Generous mounds of like colored pumpkins, gourds and mums are added to from landscape.

Color palette, plants and pumpkins are then repeated in front beds and along the border.  In rather large quantities, and added over time because of said quantities.....

Large boxwood in concrete pots accompany the window box and add to the lush effect.
Large boxwood in concrete pots accompany the window box and add to the lush effect.

to create the effect of, well, a pumpkin patch. For my family and passersby to enjoy.  My, but I do love October in Oklahoma....along with



The window box and porch decor hopefully say WELCOME!

an artfully, lovingly styled window box.


Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by Potager!  If you don’t want to miss a post, you can sign up to receive a daily email and you will never miss a thing. I’m also on Facebook, Pinterest, and InstagramOr missed a 4 YOUR GARDEN segment? Go here. 





3 comments:

  1. Stunning!

    I need window boxes. . . .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Linda, Thank you for sharing your knowledge and garden so generously. I'm an old gardener (not old woman) and still learn so much from you. Just looking at your instagram posts makes me feel wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes you do! Fun, charming, don't have to bend over. What's not to love? Go for it!

    ReplyDelete

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