Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Summer Window Box

One of my favorite sites is Artie's blog, Color Outside the Lines. I eagerly await each new post and was thrilled when he announced that he would host "Share a Garden Sunday".

Some of Linderhof's garden will be shared and if you want to see what other gardeners are doing, go to Artie's Color Outside the Lines for some great garden ideas. Gardeners love to share!

I have always felt that I was pot and box challenged. I would go to a garden center and get a flat and put plants in and try to arrange and rearrange and thinking that I got a good combination, would look at it again and then buy my usual begonias and geraniums and go home and put them in the pots and boxes. They were colorful but boring!

Until . . . . I took a class at my favorite city garden center, Red Cedar Gardens. Ricki opened my eyes as far as what to put where. She doesn't follow the "thrill, spill and fill" theory but rather picks plants that go well together colorwise and if some "thrill" (upright) or "spill" (creeping) or "fill" that's okay. But it doesn't need to be. And she doesn't use bedding plants only to fill pots and boxes -- perennials, herbs, ferns are all great.

I felt as if a cloud had been lifted and I saw pots and boxes in a whole new light. Not that each and every box has to be a mixture of different plants. A mass of one plant makes a statement and that's okay, too.

The window box at Linderhof is not directly attached to a window -- but it is under one. The supports for the box were there when we bought the house and a shelf was on top. We put pots of geraniums there but it was very hot and the plants needed a lot of watering.

So we had the box built.

In spring (and sometimes in fall), we plant pansies. They are a harbinger of spring and we like to see their gay smiling faces each day.

To add interest to the box which is very long, we added a small St. Francis.

But alas, always in June and sometimes in May, heat comes to the prairie and we lose the pansies.

Then we plant the box for summer . . . .

And until this year, it was usually petunias or begonias or geraniums . . .

But this year, I went to the garden center and came home with two boxes of plants.
Three purple fountain grass, two optic fiber grass, some coraly pink hyssop that smells divine and some of the little pink calibrocha (or million bells)
We added a piece of iron for interest and love how both the hyssop and million bells pick up the pinky brick color.
The purple of the fountain grass is a nice accent against the brick and makes the green of the blooming plants seem more green.
This box is so much better than a box of petunias (or begonias or geraniums). It has texture and interest and a wonderful heady fragrance. And some interest with St. Francis and the piece of iron.

In a month or so, it should be full and lush and I can hardly wait.


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh the flowerbox looks gorgeous. I love them and your selection of plants is just lovely. It is so nice to see flowerboxes on a home or porch railing, it always says home to me. Beautifully done. Hugs, Marty

niartist said...

Oh Martha! This is gorgeous! I've never heard of the thrill, fill, spill theory - but it makes great sense and you can bet I'll be using that one quite often! :) Thanks for playing along with Share a Garden Sundays ... you're such an inspiration, and that's what this is all about. I love fiberoptic grass. I used it last year in pots - and was going to get it again but I can't seem to find it anywhere. I'm running out tomorrow to buy the last bit of stuff - so I'm gonna look at the one place I've not been - hopefully I'll pick it up there. :) The window box is GORGEOUS!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Hi Martha! I love your flower boxes! I really like the variety of plants that you have chosen. I've had million bells before...wonderful, profuse bloomers!! Happy SAGS!!...Debbie

imjacobsmom said...

Martha, I love your boxes - so pretty. They give off the best vibe. So serene. I can't wait to see them later this summer. ~ Robyn

Linda said...

The hyssop is beautiful against that mellow brick. Looking forward to seeing the box fill out and spill over.

By coincidence I'm just off out into the (chilly) garden to plant out my own hyssop - a rather lanky 'Black Adder' variety which I'm planting for the bees. I'll be interested to see how it does in our wet winters.

Thanks for your visit to my blog, and I'm delighted to discover yours.

Susan (Between Naps On The said...

Hi Martha...gorgeous window box! I can't wait to see it later on. This would be a great Met Monday post...the newly planted and then the fuller look later. :-) I'm like you...getting tired of using the same old plants in my containers. Thanks for the inspiration for using herbs and that! Susan

Carol said...

Very nice! I'll have to keep checking back to see how it all grows!

Karen at Nittany Inspirations said...

I like your window box. The different in heights add interest, as well as the ironwork and statue.

Deborah said...

Oh I love! Beautiful! Your summer flowers are my winter flowers in the desert. **blows kisses** Deboran

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I enjoyed your garden photos. Great job on the flower box!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Beautiful window box! I love how it looks like a mantle. It should be gorgeous when it fills in.