Wednesday, December 9, 2015

THE WINDOW BOX

For years I have struggled to keep window boxes looking worthy of a place in the garden. Partly my own fault for thinking that a hayrack would stand up to Texas summers -especially on a SW facing wall. I tried the coir liners with baby diapers in the bottom-was it the birds who were always removing the coir for their nests? Then I lined them with brown felt with an inner liner of landscape fabric. The problem was always keeping them well watered even though I had a drip system set up to water twice a day in summer. This year I found the answer. A self watering box.


I ordered the 3' Fairfield window box from Gardeners' Supply catalogue and am extremely happy with it. It is sturdy construction and guaranteed not to fade. It attaches to the wall with a strong support system which hooks underneath the box. There are two reservoirs in the base with holes so that roots can access the water. The reservoirs hold a total of 3 gallons. One thing I did do was to cut two lengths of sprinkler pipe which I sprayed black and placed down to each reservoir. Now it is easy to add water either by watering can or through the drip system. My plants are as happy as can be and I don't have to keep a constant vigil over their watering needs.


For my winter box I added ornamental cabbage, violas, snapdragons and stocks, California poppies and red flax from seed. This planter should provide winter interest through until late spring.
I am seriously thinking of buying a second box which I will plant up with summer plants to change out in late spring.
Check the website out. Almost everyone gives this box a 5* rating. The only dissenter was someone who had a problem with his order and not the product. The box only comes in white or black and one person did comment that the brackets shipped with the white one were also black. They had to paint them.
It was an easy purchase for me because Gardeners' Supply had been to film their new merchandise in my garden and had given me gift certificate for merchandise.
I have no hesitation in giving them a 5* for this product.

6 comments:

  1. That's gorgeous Jenny! Window boxes are almost impossible to keep going in our weather. I'm using mostly succulents but this type of box could be the answer for the front where the deer have access and I don't spend as much time.

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  2. The box is very handsome and you've planted it beautifully for the winter season. I've no window boxes at our current house but I do share your frustration with the coir liners, which I use in a cauldron-style planter, as well as some hanging planters. While I had no problem with it at our last house, the birds here seem to have identified coir as the best material to line their nests. I've seen them right through my living room window picking the thing apart. Rather than giving away the cauldron planter, I ordered one more liner (not yet in place), which I thought I'll cover with chicken wire. If that doesn't work, I'll be going for a solid self-watering container too!

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  3. Beautiful combination there.
    Hope this solves the problem, in the summer time.

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  4. Oh my gosh..."baby diapers" to line a planter? That's a new one for me and simply hilarious. Thank you for the laugh this morning. It never fails to amaze me to what lengths us gardeners will go to in an attempt to create that bit of a "green splash" in difficult places around our homes. I'm glad you discovered the self-watering window boxes as a solution to your "hot" spot. You've created a stunning planter for the season.

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  5. This will sound odd, but whenever I have a garden problem I now hope it is similar to one you've also faced because you come up with the best and most fascinating solutions. I'd not heard of using baby diapers but of course they have those hydrodynamic properties that would benefit a plant/planter - so clever! And yes coir is useful to birds as it is to us - we have some naturally occurring on palm trees that the birds delight in pulling whenever nesting is on their agenda. Squirrels, too.

    Your plant combinations are a delight to the eye. I've no doubt there will be many similar combinations appearing now thanks to your instructive post. If that garden box gets five stars then you get ten!

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  6. Nice! I had a couple tomatoes planted in small self watering pots this year, and they did wonderfully despite the fact that I completely neglected them and wanted them to die as the tomatoes actually tasted terrible. I really need to find some self watering hanging pots for my front porch - I should look on Gardeners Supply and see if they have them!

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