80 Main Street, Sutter Creek, California ~ ~ ~ Attempted Hours: Open 11am-5pm, Closed Tuesdays

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Windowboxes for Spring!

Well, a few weeks back I decided it was time to clean up the windowboxes out in front of the shop. The only problem is it has taken me weeks to get the post done! Spring is here and sorry to say, I have so many things to do in the garden and in the shop it is hard to make time for my blog. Now that Easter has passed I am grabbing a moment to catch my breath!
I have three windowboxes out front. They are hayrack style planters, 30" wide with a liner that has lasted almost three years now. I actually sell several sizes in the shop - prices start at around $39.95. I like to keep them looking fresh, so every couple months I clean out any plants that are old and tired and make room for new. Here I have left a couple ivy plants on the edges.

I usually clear out almost all of the old plants. Often I can re-use them in other containers but sometimes I just add them to the compost pile.
In preparation for warmer weather, I use a Rain-Mat that absorbs water so that the soil won't dry out as quickly.
After I cover the Rain-Mat sheet with a few inches of good-quality potting mix I add a liberal amount of Osmocote slow-release fertilizer. Make sure you use water-retaining products and fertilizers at root level, several inches below the top of your container.




As you can see I like to add plenty of fertilizer! It's hard to tell in the pictures but the fertilizer is actually several inches below the top of the windowbox.



Next, fill the remaining space in the windowbox with more potting soil.



I generally like to lay out the plants before I remove them from their containers. I never plant each windowbox exactly the same. I try to use 5-6 different plants of a particular color theme. For this spring I'm using my favorite combination of yellow, white and blue with several different shades of green as an accent. Each windowbox will be planted with the yellow Diascia and chartreuse Creeping Jenny (center front). By using one or two of the same plants in each windowbox it unifies the containers without having them look exactly the same.




The far right windowbox has a beautiful Heuchera (Coral Bells) in the center, one yellow Diascia, blue Lobelia, Creeping Jenny and variegated Ivy that was previously planted in the windowbox. (see the first picture for a 'before' shot)


Lobelia is available in many shades of blue and purple and is a great plant for containers of all kinds. Creeping Jenny is a fabulous ground cover but works great in containers because it creeps over the edges.



The center windowbox has two Diascia with a Shasta Daisy in the center. In addition to the Creeping Jenny I have added Stonecrop, a spiky, chartreuse green sedum; Calibrachoa with tiny, yellow, petunia-shaped flowers; and two small clumps of curled Parsley.







There are several different plants all in varying shades of green and all with different textures to add a little interest. The darker green curled Parsley, pretty Creeping Jenny, grey-green variegated ivy and the almost florescent green spiky Stonecrop.






In the far windowbox I used another Heuchera in the center, one yellow Diascia, one blue Lobelia, Creeping Jenny and Ivy. Again, to add another shade of green and different texture I used the curled Parsley as well as Onion Chives. Herbs are a great addition to most containers as they are generally easy to care for and have beautiful foliage and a great scent as well!


As you can see I tend to plant my containers very full. That way they look great from the start! As they grow, the plants get bigger and fuller and intertwine with one another to make a very welcoming entrance at The Antique Gardener!