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I think window boxes are some of the most fun but most challenging containers to get right. Depending on their placement they may need to drape, may have restrictions as to how high they can be (so as to not block a window) and are often narrow, leaving not a lot of soil for plants to grow in. But done right, they become an architectural asset. 
I like to study window box design because I’m always looking to do it better. And Mackinac Island (which I visited a few weeks ago, as I do every year), is full of window box inspiration.
This is actually several window boxes butted up together and mounted a little below eye level. The gap between boxes is bridged by the Thunbergia on a simple stick trellis. 
Brightly colored window box
Planting a window box in sun leaves oodles of options for plant combinations. But shade window boxes can be a challenge. Here’s a charming shade box, mounted under a window outside a shop at about hip height. This might be my favorite window box of all of these. Don’t you love how the lilac color of the box is reflected in the heuchera in the box?
Shade window box
All of the window boxes at the Iroquois Hotel, all planted by Jack Barnwell’s amazing crew, were red, white and blue this year. I like how the white flowers reflect the color of the boxes and the building (hmm … I’m sensing a theme here). 
Red, white and blue window box
This is a huge “window box” at the back of the giant spa on the lake side of the Chippewa Hotel. I love the papyrus grasses, but I’d like to see a little more drape. That may be coming when the sweet potato vine and the petunias get a little more mature.

Poolside window box

This is more of a railing box, but it’s the same concept. I quite like this design as well, but again, I’d like to see less box. I always wonder how people water these boxes on a second floor. I would hate to have to get water from a bathroom or something.

Second story window box

 Here’s another railing box and this one is SO good. What a great tie in to the gardens below.

Railing box

What does your ideal window box look like? You can see how I planted mine up this year here. I’ll post an update on my containers soon. 

What would you like to know? Search, or jump to categories below. 

3 Responses

  1. I like the draping plants a lot in a window box. Maybe some of these will appear more drapey when the plants mature. I like color too. I really like the shade box with the lavender accents on the box. It makes the plants pop.

  2. Hi Erin! Thanks for this post. Can you recommend dimensions for building a window box? Mine can be about 3 feet wide, but I want to make sure it’s deep enough. Perhaps there’s a building tutorial you can recommend?

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