Dress up your ledges with boxes in full bloom.

By Nancy Mattia
April 26, 2019
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When it comes to arranging the flowers in a window box, your aim should be to create a design that's full of personality. That could be achieved through the choice of flower, color, shape, size, height, or texture. Here are some ideas that will help you get started.

Think about repetition.

While variety is key, don't go overboard. When there is an overabundance (too many different flowers or too many colors, for example), you don't know where to look first. According to the New York Botanic Garden, the eye needs a resting place. Repetition creates continuity and ties the composition together.

Go for the same flower or same color.

If you're set on using all the same flowers in your window boxes, go for it but keep the look from falling flat by getting the same flower in different colors. Or if color is your priority, choose different flowers that share the same hue.

Make it shapely or textural.

Different flowers with the same shape will get attention, as will a planter that focuses on using different textures.

Vary the sizes and heights.

Follow the "thriller-filler-spiller" rule. This simple guideline calls for a tall, striking plant ("thriller") centered in the box and serving as the focal point; smaller, complementary plants ("filler") on each side and the bottom; and plants that flow over the edges ("spiller").

Add some green.

Don't just plant flowers-add some foliage, too. It'll look good from the moment you plant it, unlike flowers, which take their time to grow into their most lush form. Leafy greens also do a good job of providing a background to the showier plants that will be a planter's focal point. One pretty plant to consider: coleus. Although it's usually thought of as a shade-loving plant, coleus comes in varieties, such as Purple Prince, that do well in full sun.

Take your house color into consideration.

It's all about contrast in getting the flowers in your window box to pop. If your house is white, choose any color flower but white. Visualize red geraniums or yellow zinnias against the white background. Striking!

Pick compatible plants.

Some flowers love the sun, others prefer the shade; some require little water and others need a lot. When you're composing your windowsill planter, choose plants that have the same demands.

Water before planting.

Before removing plants from the plastic pots they came in, give each one a good soak. If you wait until you plant them in the window box, the water won't reach the root balls and your flowers will soon be gone.

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