How to maximize your curb appeal with DIY window box gardening

Want to make a brilliant first impression with your home? Find out how you can maximize your curb appeal with DIY window box gardening. 

The first impression anyone will usually have of your house is its exterior. So it’s worth spending the time to make sure it looks good. 

Many exterior home improvements can cost quite a lot of money – from replacing old windows to painting. However, there’s one relatively quick and inexpensive fix that can dramatically boost your kerb appeal without hurting your wallet too much. And that is window boxes. 

Window boxes can be cheap to buy, and can be refreshed seasonally so your home always looks bright and cheerful. For example, you can plant spring flowers for window boxes so they are ready to bloom for Easter. 

And they won’t just look nice for people passing by your home – you can enjoy them as you come and go from your house, or as you look out your windows from inside. 

Like the idea of growing mini-gardens outside your windows? Let’s explore more about DIY window box gardening.

Why grow window boxes?

Window boxes are a brilliant canvas for expressing your creativity with plants. It doesn’t matter whether you live down a pretty country lane or on a sprawling urban estate, window boxes can be adapted to suit any environment. They also work on properties of any size, from large houses to one-bed flats. 

They’re the perfect solution for keen gardeners who lack adequate outside space as well. And you can grow all kinds of plants in them – from pretty flowers to fruit and herbs. 

You’ll be doing your local ecosystem a big favour by planting window boxes too; by filling them with a mix of flowers and plants you will attract bees and other pollinators.

And finally, research shows that exposure to plants and gardening can have beneficial effects on our mood and mental health. One Japanese study found that viewing plants reduced stress, fear, anger and sadness, and even reduced blood pressure, pulse rate and muscle tension. Another Japanese study noted that looking out at a green hedge rather than a concrete fence was better for us physiologically.

What should you grow in your window boxes?

Most people assume that window boxes are just for flowers or – at a push – the odd herb. But you can grow almost anything in one… even miniature trees!

When choosing the right plants for your window boxes, think about the amount of sunlight they’ll get, and what your local climate is like. You want to pick plants that will thrive in their environment. 

Here are some ideas for flowers you can grow in your window boxes:

  • Petunias
  • Verbena
  • Geraniums
  • Lobelia
  • Fuchsias
  • Begonias
  • Roses
  • Lilies
  • Sweet peas
  • Pansies

Here are some ideas for fruit you can grow in your window boxes:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Midget apple and pear trees
  • Figs

Here are some ideas for vegetables you can grow in your window boxes:

  • Tomatoes
  • Dwarf French beans
  • Peppers
  • Chilli peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Onions
  • Garlic

And here are some ideas for foliage you can grow in your window boxes:

  • Sage
  • Japanese Maples 
  • Ornamental grasses
  • Ferns
  • Hosta

How to choose the right window boxes

When you have an idea of what you’d like to plant in your window boxes, you need to choose the pots they will grow – and hopefully thrive – in. 

When choosing window boxes, consider the architectural style and colour scheme of your home to ensure that your window boxes complement with the overall design, and don’t clash. Also think about what kind of material your window boxes are made of. Durable materials that can withstand outdoor conditions and provide drainage for plants, like wood, metal, and fibreglass, are popular choices. 

Another consideration when choosing your window boxes is where they will be positioned. Remember that once they are planted you will need to maintain them and water them regularly, so they will need to be easily accessible. 

Planting and maintaining your window boxes

Once you’ve chosen your plants and bought your window boxes, it’s time to get planting! First fill your window boxes with a good-quality potting mix that is enriched with compost for optimal plant growth. Then position your plants according to their height (you don’t want to plant smaller plants behind pager ones that will hog the sun). 

Also consider the visual effect when planning where your plants will go. Ensure they are well balanced, and that you have a spread of plants that flower at different times. 

Another consideration is the best time of year to plant. As a quick guide, you can plant summer containers from April onwards, but you’ll need to protect them from frost until the end of May with fibre fleece or a fleece jacket. You can plant winter containers in September and October, and it’s best to sow or plant herbs between April and July.

When planting, make sure your containers have good drainage holes and add a layer of gravel or broken terracotta pots for a better drainage layer if needed. 

Once you have planted your window boxes, water them thoroughly. And remember to keep watering them regularly so that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Other window box maintenance tasks include regular deadheading and the pruning of any overgrown or leggy foliage. 

Also, check how often your plants will need fertilizing during the growing season to ensure they have the nutrients they need. Most plants will require feeding after five to six weeks if you want them to flourish through the summer and autumn. Watch out for any signs of pests or diseases, and take action promptly to stop them spreading. 

Brighten up your home with window boxes

Window boxes are a relatively cheap and low effort way to brighten up your home and boost its curb appeal. Choose the right plants and look after them well, and you’ll have an attractive home that you, your guests and passers-by can all enjoy.