AUGUST 22, 2012
Well it's been the weirdest summer, weather-wise, that I can remember in a long time. It started out absolutely GORGEOUS, with lower temps and humidity – it was fantastic. And then Mother Nature went into fits and mid-summer was full of intense drought and wicked hot temps. I know many of you had the same.
The past couple weeks it’s been lovely again – almost like September instead of August but I’ll take it! But the nice weather came too late for a few of my plants. We were under a water ban here for most of the summer, and although I could still water some plants, some of them I just could not keep up with. I almost lost a few bigger bushes, so I focused on those instead of the annuals, like those in our window boxes:
Sad, just sad. We were the envy of the neighborhood with those, we were.
When there’s not a drought, they usually look like this:
So I decided to do something about them, but the thing was, this was early August – I didn’t really want to do petunias again (and doubt I could have found them?) but I love the way they spill over when they grow out. But I knew I wanted something fluffy and spilly and low maintenance.
So I took a trip to one of my favorite nurseries, which is actually the one at the True Value I visit:
I love that they use lattice across the top – it’s like a little oasis out there. I don’t know why, but I always find different options here than I do at the bigger hardware stores I frequent. I’ve purchased quite a few plants here I don’t see many other stores. (This location is in Pendleton, Indiana for you locals!)
One thing I couldn’t find anywhere else was asparagus fern:
I knew I wanted to try it and this True Value had a plenty of it – at least until I got there. ;) I’ve never used this stuff before but I loved it’s delicate, spilly (yes I made up that word, go with it) look. Keep in mind how small those were – you won’t believe how fast they grow!
I picked up some coleus as well, which I’m gathering is a good option for late summer because I see them out more starting late July. I’ve used this stuff in the past and love the variety of colors and how full and hardy it is.
I hear planters need some “thriller,” as well (I had the filler and spiller) so I grabbed a few red geraniums for the back of the window boxes. A few weeks later and I cannot even believe how well these plants are doing in this spot:
I have always wanted to try mixing a few different plants in these boxes and never have for some reason - I just don’t feel like I'm good at figuring out what works when it comes to this stuff.
But I’m quite pleased with how they’ve turned out!:
Ack! I love all the spillage!! Looking at them now, I don’t even know if I needed the geraniums – but I did want a little punch of color.
Here’s the thing – I love the idea of using the green flowy plants and want to do it again, but they don’t offer much contrast against the azalea bushes that we have out front:
I guess it’s that I’m so used to having a huge pop of color there with the petunias. Maybe I’ll continue to do both every summer, who knows. I’m pretty much obsessed with how these have filled out and spilled over though. Love it!
I installed these window boxes about six years ago, maybe seven, and they’ve served us well. But this is the last summer for them, for sure:
They are barely hanging on. ;) Luckily you can only see that from the side, since the spillage hides so much.
Next year I want to go bigger with the window boxes – definitely longer and maybe deeper too so I can keep stuffing them full of lovelies like this. Our current ones are actually very small and it’s hard to put much in them.
I’m hoping the fern and coleus will do OK into the fall, because I’d love to just keep these through till the winter. I will fallify them a bit, maybe with some pumpkins and kale if I can cram those in. ;)
By the way – we have finally gotten some rain around here but I have not watered these much otherwise – just a couple times right after I planted them. They get partial sun and do GREAT in this spot – the maintenance is pretty much nonexistent!
I did a quick search to find some other examples of window boxes using these three plants – check out this gorgeous one using coleus:
Holy spillage! I die!!
This one is simpler but still a big impact:
I love the red tones in the coleus!
This one I loved because of the boxes, but mostly because of the windows:
Can you blame me?
And hold on to your seats – this one is freakin’ me out it’s so awesome:
Look at all the potato vine too! Just amazing!!
This window box shows how delicate and pretty the asparagus fern is:
I love those brackets by the way – that’s the look I’m going for when I replace our boxes next year.
Forget about the geraniums, check out that iron window box:
OK, I’m totally cheating -- this isn’t a window box, but it is too cute not to share:
And finally, one more that truly incorporates the “thriller, spiller, filler” combo, WOW:
Those geraniums are HUGE! I’m gonna need MUCH bigger window boxes next year. ;)
So do you have window boxes? I think they add SO much character to the front of a home – for very little money (I’m pretty sure mine were under $20). I’m determined to get a little more creative with mine in the future. And in no time at all we’ll be dreaming of fall-themed planters – like, maybe…yesterday? ;)
I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.