Ideas for Cool-Weather Windowboxes

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colorful windowbox makes bright winter display DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When your summer flowers are spent, and window displays are looking bedraggled and dull, give them a quick makeover with colorful evergreens that will last the course through the coldest winter. This combination of conifers, shrubs, grasses, and herbs is guaranteed to perform for many months.

When to Start: Early autumn
At Its Best: Early autumn to spring
Time to Complete: 1 1/2 hours

Materials Needed:

  • large windowbox
  • ericaceous potting mix
  • multipurpose potting mix
  • broken plastic pieces
  • bucket
  • carex oshimensis 'Evergold'
  • cupressus macrocarpa 'Goldcrest'
  • Golden thyme, Thymus pulegioides 'Archer's Gold'
  • Leucothoe Scarletta
  • stipa tenuissima
  • Japanese tassel fern, Polystichum polyblepharum
  • winter-flowering pansies, Imperial Antique Shades
  • Cupressus macrocarpa 'Goldcrest'
  • Grape hyacinth, Muscari
  • Narcissus 'Topolino'

Before Planting

Buy a frost-resistant windowbox — this one is made from terracotta, but a plastic imitation would be best if you live in a cold, exposed area that is prone to frosts. Check that your plants fit comfortably in the container.

Window Box Winter TipsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Soak the Plants

Water each plant well, either with a watering can without a rose, or by dunking the plants in a bucket of water. Allow the bubbles to dissipate, then remove the pots and allow them to drain.

Watering Plants Before Transplanting to Window BoxEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Provide Good Drainage

Break up a plastic plant tray and add the pieces to the bottom of the windowbox. Then add a layer of ericaceous potting mix — the Leucothoe and Gaultheria are both acid-loving plants and do best in this type of soil.

Plastic in Bottom of Container Helps DrainageEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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