Thursday, March 27, 2008

Window Boxes and Hanging Baskets

Have you noticed that over at Gardening Gone Wild they're talking about container plantings this month? It all started on March 1st with Nan Ondra's post, "Garden Bloggers' Design Workshop - Container Plantings"
We're invited to do a post about containers (archives count) and submit it by leaving a comment on Nan's post before the end of this month.

I did 2 posts earlier this year about containers which you'll find here and here, if you'd like to have a look.

Last summer I went a little crazy over containers, which was a direct result of helping out at my favorite nursery during the spring. There were so many plants I couldn't resist bringing home to try! You know how that is.
But my window boxes are a standard of my summer planting. I've been using many of the same plants for years, because they work so well. I use different varieties and color combinations each year, and sometimes add a different plant, but I basically stick to the same old faithfuls.

I'm thinking I may try a few different things this year though, after seeing so many wonderful ideas in this series of container posts....and that's just so far. I haven't read them all yet, and there may be more to come before the end of the month!

I love to use a combination of ivy geraniums, petunias, alyssum and vinca major. There are some pretty variegated cultivars of vinca available, which add interest. This is my favorite ivy geranium, Marimba, mainly because it grows so prolifically, but I also love the color.

I buy regular potting soil from our local hardware store and add peat moss to it, mixing it up in a wheelbarrow.

In this box are 2 ivy geraniums, 3 petunias, one vinca, with 3 alyssum planted along the front edge. They bloom well all summer. The petunias and geraniums need deadheading, and it's good to cut the petunias back a little when they begin to get a bit leggy. That way they'll bush out and continue to bloom nicely. I don't always get this done, but I should!

This is a white calibrachoa (Million bells), just one plant, which trailed down later in the season and looked great. The petunias are Merlin Blue. Posted by Picasa

Two of these ivy geraniums were in the same box (they weren't blooming in the first picture) but I can't remember their name.

Here's the whole box

This is the same as the first box, but just around the corner from it. You can see how profusely the Marimba geranium blooms. There are 2 of them planted in here.

I tried a few different things in this box. It's on the north side of the house and gets shaded in the afternoons, so I used begonias and coleus which do well with less sun. There's vinca and alyssum in there as well, as you can see. The begonias overwinter well if you have room for a few in the house, and cuttings can be made for the new season. At the end of the season I plant my vincas in our veggie garden, or a flower garden if I can find room, and they overwinter in the ground just fine. When I'm ready to plant my window boxes later in the spring I'll dig them up, tidy them and use them in the boxes again. Posted by Picasa

This 'Amethyst' ivy geranium hangs in a basket outside our back door.

You may have guessed I'm partial to pink :)

Here's what it looks like in the early morning sunshine.

I overwintered this one from the year before and can't remember the name of it. There's just one plant in that basket. Posted by Picasa

I feed them with liquid fertilizer..the 'bloom booster' variety..... about once a week.

In this basket is a mixture of 'Rasberry blast' petunias, and I think the other might be 'Royal Magenta'. I bought this one already planted, and the blooms lasted amazingly well all summer. Sometimes we get lucky!

Fuchsias are another favorite of mine. This one is Southgate. I tried overwintering it, but unfortunately it didn't make it.

Marinka has overwintered 2 years in a row for me. I've had it in an upstairs bedroom and it's even bloomed a little. I'll bring it down and put it on the covered porch as soon as the days begin to warm up. I've begun giving it a little plant food and it's looking surprisingly healthy. Posted by Picasa

What are you planning to put in containers this year?

Soon it'll be time to start planting them, but meanwhile we'll enjoy the snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and tulips.....if Old Man Winter ever loosens his grip!


Susan said...[Reply]

Spring must be in the air there, I can hear the excitement in your voice!

Needled Mom said...[Reply]

Kerri, your containers are stunning. I could look at those pictures all day long. We have containers going all year round here. Like you, I love the petunias and geraniums for the dependable color. I also plant a lot of pansies and inpatiens for the same reason. The fushias do very well here and I love some of the blooming cactus.

Working in a a wonderful job!

Jean Ann said...[Reply]

Yeesh! Those blue petunias and million bells are GORGEOUS! I just noticed in the last week or two my fuschias are returning...yipee!

Weed Whackin' Wenches said...[Reply]

Your containers brought a smile to my face. I've mostly been visiting southern blogs the last few days because our weather has turned nasty and I was seeking WARMTH. I'm glad I stopped by today. Since the "official" arrival of spring we've had nasty weather here. The winds snapped one of the supports on our clcoche. Last night when I left work there was a blanket of WHITE on the ground. Your lovely flowers have me dreaming again.

jodi said...[Reply]

Another perfect post for chasing away winter weariness, Kerri. and no, I hadn't noticed that you like pink! :-) One can never have too many containers, I figure.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Whoa, Kerri, those 'Merlin Blue' petunias are stunners! Thanks for sharing!

Nan Ondra said...[Reply]

Thanks for the taste of summer, Kerri! I can imagine how wonderful it must be to have sweet alyssum growing close to your windows. And that blue-and-white windowbox is terrific! I also enjoyed your comment about bringing home plants from your job at a local nursery. I did the same thing from a part-time nursery job one spring - never did come home with an actual paycheck!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...[Reply]

I love Fuschias, but haven't grown one in many years. That light pink is so different a color for them. I love all your window boxes with their exuberant spilling over.

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

Oh Kerri, these window boxes and containers are just fab. I didn't notice an inordinate amount of pink here. Couldn't be because Ilike pink though.

Robin's Nesting Place said...[Reply]

I'm partial to pinks and purples too. You are so good with container planting, I'm glad to see you participating in the Gardening Gone Wild topic of the month.

Amy said...[Reply]

Another pink lover here :) I've wanted window boxes for ages and yours are just perfect. So many things I want to do!

In our first house there was a built in planter at the top of the steps to the front door. It was shady for most of the day. I put in a whole bunch of bright tuberous begonias and then blue lobelia trailing over the edge. They did so well that people used to stop and point while walking by. I discovered last summer that we get too much sun in our current home and had to move the begonias as the leaves were getting scorched. I'm going to have to come up with a new favourite combination :)

Kathleen said...[Reply]

Your containers are GORGEOUS! I am just now getting into container gardening (since I'm out of space in my yard!) so I could learn a lot from you!

Naturegirl said...[Reply]

Kerri I enjoyed viewing all your wonderful window have so many!! I have a few in front and along the back fence and I usually fill them with my favorite trailing plants in of course your choice of colors..blues pinks whites and some greenery
such as ivy.I will be fast tracking by the time I get home as I am here in Arizona for another month!! We'll have much to do upon arriving home!! sunkissed in Arizona NG

Blissful Begonia said...[Reply]

Kerri, I adore your window boxes! They're so lush and beautiful. You are such an inspiring gardener.

Jeanette said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, OHHH I just love the pinks and purples you have used in your planters. Just Beautiful..

Seeing Anew said...[Reply]

I love your window boxes! I'd love to stick one out my 2nd story window, but my screens don't open, so I can't figure out how I'd water it. Tip for gardeners: Never install window screens that you can't lift up and down. When did you get the SLR, and what size lens are you using? Your shots are so beautiful!

Barbara said...[Reply]

Your containers are very beautiful. I like the way you put the different plants and the various pink colours together. Looking at your containers now, is like having a little summer feeling....Again an inspiring post, Kerri! I have to read it again when I do my containers in the beginning of summer ;-)!
Have a nice weekend with a lot of warm sunshine!

jellyhead said...[Reply]

You don't see window boxes much over here, so it was a real treat to see your beautiful mini-gardens.

Have a lovely weekend Kerri :)

Apple said...[Reply]

Your windows boxes are beautiful. I've never had good luck with containers but you inspire me to keep trying! I only had one fuchsia last year but I think there will be more this year, the Southgate is a nice contrast to the hot colors of the Marinka.

2" last night, will winter never end?

Trudi said...[Reply]

Oh Kerri, made a visit in your garden. The window boxes are the top. They are all so gorgous. You have just inspired me to do some over winter. so, I don't think they will be as good as yours.

CountryGirl said...[Reply]

Your window boxes are so full and georgeous! I love how containters can brighten up a building or complement a garden. I added four window boxes last year and love the idea of using the allysum. I also neglected to feed them so that is definately something I need to do this year. I'll have to check out the other container posts. Thanks for letting us know about it.

Sonia said...[Reply]

Kerri I am enchanted with so beautiful flowers! Love specially those flowers on the windows. Really wonderful color!

Isabelle said...[Reply]

Ooh, lovely colours. Here, coleus needs full sun and even then is usually pretty weedy outside - it's too cool. It's much better inside, on a sunny windowsill.

All those containers must take a lot of watering! But they're beautiful.

Susie said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
Your containers are so colorful and cheery. Bet you can't wait till it's actually time to see them in bloom.
How is your weather? We're enjoying sunshine and spent some time working out on the patio this afternoon.
It's a never ending job, but brings such enjoyment. I know you are eager to get out in your beautiful garden!
much love

Jean Ann said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
I overwintered the fuschias outside, under an small overhang next to the garage. So far, it looks like all but 2 of the 16 little guys made it (I have 4-5 per hanging basket). Next year, I might try inside the heated garage...but probably not the greenhouse as they would take up too much space.

Katarina i Kullavik said...[Reply]

You've got some great arrangements there! I'm planning on planting pelargoniums and fuchsias in containers this year. And cannas.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

You boxes look wonderful. Hope you don't mind if I copy a couple of your box plans. This year, I am doing more container gardening, and have been trying to decide what combinations would work the best for my northern exposure side of the house.

I will also use your idea for vinca. In past years, I have done that will dusty miller, but never vinca.

More snow here today, but in my head, I am gardening!

Frances, said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, your container plantings are so lush and colorful. You truly have the green touch. I can't grow hardly anything in containers beyond sedums, yours make me want to give it a go once more and this time try the weekly feeding you describe. Our summers are quite hot and it is hard to keep the containers watered, yours look cool, calm and collected. Thanks for sharing.
Frances at Faire Garden

Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

Your first two posts on containers were wonderful Kerri - but your window boxes are even more charming. Windowboxes would probably look odd with the architecture in new housing developments, though, wouldn't they? But how beautifully they blend with cottages and farmhouses.

Winter annuals can be pretty in our hanging baskets, but once summer heat arrives only potato vines and impatiens seem to survive, probably because impatiens thrives when the nights are hot. Our temperatures stay high overnight and many plants die from the stress.

Spring is coming, Kerri!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Elzie said...[Reply]

So many lovely flowers. I really long for spring and summer when I look at your pictures.
Just wanted to tell you that I've changed address. The new one is: Hope you're gonna like it there.
Love Elzie

Layanee said...[Reply]

Lush and colorful and they make me smile! What more can one ask for?

Midlife Mom said...[Reply]

Oh your containers are so beautiful! When I look outside and see all the dirty old snow we still have it makes me just yearn for some of those beautiful flowers!!! You do such a gorgeous job putting the different varieties of plants together. If I worked at a nursery I would be spending my whole paycheck there!!

Barbee' said...[Reply]

Oh, those are beautiful! I love window boxes and would love to have them, but never have figured out to mount them on a stone house with recessed mortar. I'm not very good at things like that :(

Moi said...[Reply]

goodness, they are bursting at the seams with happiness...:)

kate smudges said...[Reply]

I love your ivy geraniums - you have a knack for putting together great combinations of plants. I have tried over-wintering Fuschsia, but have never had any luck.

Pretty soon, you will be back planting up your pretty windowboxes!

Artsy Etc. said...[Reply]

Kerri! Oh my..the containers are lovely!! I wish my window boxes looked like that. What a feeling of peace they give me. LOVELY.

Michelle said...[Reply]

I truly enjoy your photographs. Your containers are inspiring to say the least. I have all the fixings for a new container waiting for me outside. I bought everything today and just need to put everything together tomorrow. Wish me luck!! If it turns out half as nice as yours, I might post it on my blog later this week. We'll see!!

Yolanda Elizabet said...[Reply]

Oh dear, is seems like you have a bad case of containeritis, Kerri! ;-)

It's great to see all those lovely containers of yours full of flowers. Soon it will be time to start planting up mine, just another 6 weeks wait.

Thanks for this colourful post!

Cris said...[Reply]

These are wonderful Kerri, I can't stop admiring them!

Alice said...[Reply]

Your post is so full of inspiration. I can honestly say I have never seen a more beautiful collection of baskets and window boxes - not even in England.

I loved the container plants in England, but many of the containers had the same group of planting repeated over and over. The variety of plantings in your containers in breathtaking. True artistry in mini-gardens.

I love them so much.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Great looking window box! You should enter it into the Hooks and
Lattice- Window Box Contest

InTheFurnace said...[Reply]


Would it be possible please to use your picture of Fuchsia to create some advertising on ebay and my website to sell this variety. I am in Australia and am finding it very hard to find copyright free pictures to use and in searching I found your blog.I would be more than happy to put a link in the advertising to your blog.


Kind regards

Heico Weidl