Date: May 28, 2010 | Story: Paulette Pearson | Styling: Mandy Keener & Paulette Pearson |
Summer-fresh window boxes instantly add curb appeal. In search of colorful new ideas, we asked Jennifer Gibson of The Good Earth Garden Center in Little Rock to update a trio of window boxes of a Heights neighborhood residence. Using only a pair of garden gloves and her hands as tools, she helped us create three easy styles. “I like any flowers that greet you at the door,” our expert says. “It’s an unexpected treat.”
We asked homeowner Margaret Kemp and her daughter, Rebecca, to choose a favorite look. The winner? A casual mix of contrasting colors and textures, including petunias, sweet potato vine and spike grass. “It adds so much to the house and my spirit to have something fresh,” Margaret says.
In the Winning Box:
1. Sisyrinchium angustifolium ‘Lucerne’
2. Osteospermum hybrid ‘Orange Symphony’
3. Calibrachoa hybrid ‘Cherry Blossom’
4. Petunia x hybrida ‘Spreading Petunia’
5. Ipomoea batatas ‘Marguerite Sweet Potato Vine’
6. Setcreasea pallida ‘Purple Heart’
7. Dracaena ‘Spike’
8. Tradescantia pallida ‘Wandering Jew’
1. Lobelia erinus ‘Crystal Palace’
2. Impatiens ‘Accent White’
3. Hedera helix ‘English Ivy’
4. Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Rosemary’
1. Pelargonium ‘Patriot Rose Pink’
2. Solanaceae ‘Petunia’
3. Calendula ‘Pot Marigold’
Gibson’s Tips from The Good Earth
1. Make sure the box is secure to the house. Plants, soil and water can become heavy.
2. Use a moisture-retaining soil that absorbs water and releases it gradually to prevent over and under watering.
3. Prevent rotting by using treated wood painted with exterior paint and lined with metal sheeting. For drainage, drill several 1/4-inch holes in the bottom and add a layer of landscape fabric topped with gravel.
4. Consider how the plants will grow and plant accordingly. For example, ivy and other vines work best placed in a corner.
5. Also consider how they will look from the inside of your home. Do you mind having your view partially blocked or would you rather see only tops of flowers?
6. The plants in a hanging flower basket are usually more mature and have more blooms than those in small pots. Carefully split the plants and spread them out as you add them to the window box.
7. After planting is complete, dress up the top of the soil with mulch or green sheet moss.
8. Water as needed, probably twice a week depending on the depth of your boxes. If a sprinkler head is nearby, look into adding drip irrigation.