How to plant a cheerful window box


DIY and how-to

Close-up of a person holding a wooden plant box containing a vivid green rosemary plant.

Autumn is the ideal time to plant a window box. Fill it with vibrant winter-flowering annuals or spring-flowering bulbs and you’ll have a world of colour right outside your window. It’s the perfect way to appreciate your garden without having to venture outside in cold weather.

    Things to consider before you begin:

        • Is the windowsill you have in mind broad enough to support a window box? If not, install a bracket just beneath the window.
        • Bear in mind the way in which your windows open and close. You’ll need to choose plants that won’t block this movement.


    To get started, you’ll need:

        • A window box
        • Weed-control fabric or a thin dishtowel
        • Potting soil
        • Water-retaining crystals and slow-release fertiliser
        • Plants of your choice
        • Hand shovel


    Here’s how to plant your window box:

      1. Line your window box with weed control fabric or a thin dishtowel. This will allow water to drain through the bottom of the box, but will keep the soil inside.
      2. Fill the box with potting soil. Add water-retaining crystals and slow-release fertiliser and mix together.
      3. Plant a selection of winter-flowering plants like pansies, primulas, violas, daffodils and pelargonium or spring-flowering bulbs like ranunculus, sparaxis, dahlias and Cape cowslip. A kitchen window could also be the perfect place for a pretty herb box filled with chives, parsley, thyme and rosemary.
      4. Pat down the soil, ensuring it is about 2cm below the brim of the window box. This will prevent overflowing when you water your plants.
      5. Water every second day and look forward to a pretty display in the months to come.

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