Whether you’re in New England blanketed in snow or somewhere warm, the promise of spring creeps ever closer, even it feels like it’s taking way too long. Now is the perfect time to choose the flowers you’ll use in your spring window boxes. With window boxes, you can plant flowers and herbs even if you have minimal garden space or if your garden isn’t ready for planting yet.
When choosing your flowers, it’s important to consider your climate and the amount of sunlight the flowers will get. If you’re on the fence about whether the spring will be a cool or a warm one, opt for plants that will tolerant the cold – there are plenty of choices!
For cooler climates, try planting primroses, pansies and violas. Pansies are an especially good choice because they require little maintenance, they thrive in sunlight and shade, and they come in a bounty of colors. Fragrant and vibrant, sweet peas grow best in cool conditions, and bush types are very suitable for window boxes.
For warm climates, you have abundant choices. Petunias, nasturtiums, marigolds and impatiens thrive in window boxes. In hot zones, verbenas bloom in mid-spring, flowering on bushy plants in purple, pink, white and red flowers. Snapdragons are a versatile and colorful plant, but because they vary in height from low-growing dwarf varieties to towering spikes, make sure to check to size of the plants you use.
If planted in early spring, bulb flowers like tulips and daffodils often last a long time in cool temperatures and come in an array of gorgeous shades. One thing to remember, however, is that bulbs like to be planted en masse. Bulbs also work well in warmer climates, but generally, you want to choose bulbs that don’t mind some heat. According to Country Living and Farm Lifestyles, some examples of bulbs grown in warmer climates are babiana, sparaxis, freesias, ranunculus and Spanish bluebells.
Since bulbs are such a hit in spring in cool and warm climates, the best thing to do while it’s winter is to plant the bulbs inside, and later they can be transferred to a window box. Bulbs can be combined with other complementary plants. Gardenguides.com advises you to “… plant the bulbs with low-growing, trailing flowers such as alyssum, bacopa or lobelia.”
In addition to flowers, some herbs do well in spring flower boxes – especially if you have a window box that gets good light. Some excellent choices are basil, chives, parsley, lavender and cilantro. Mixing herbs and flowers will bring beauty to your house and delicious fresh herbs to your kitchen.
Starting a spring window box is easy even when winter lingers into March and April. Invest in some sturdy window box liners, fill them with soil, plant your seeds, and place them on sunny window sills indoors. They’ll sprout in the warm safety of your home. When the frost danger has passed and it’s time to bring them outside, they’ll already look fabulous. All you do is drop the liners into your window boxes and enjoy a spring full of beautiful flower boxes. Naturally, if spring arrives early, you may choose to start your plants outside, where they can enjoy the fresh air from minute one.
What are your favorite spring window box tips? Share them in the comments! We look forward to hearing from you.