Dress the house, outside and in.
Making a few lists? Checking them thrice?
We’ve been busy elves, creating Christmas gift orders for a few weeks now, as we need to work a little way in advance and make many of our wirework garden structures to order. As busy as we are, though, we have really felt the benefit of freeing up a few hours to do a really good job on decorating the house and office not just inside but also out – for our own enjoyment as much as for clients, friends and family visiting us during the festive period.
As well as carefully placed planters, trees and topiary draped with fairy lights, house guests can be delighted by our attention to outdoor décor detail when they see the house adorned with beautifully planted winter window boxes. Later in this feature we advise on arming readers with a useful list of powerful planting that will bring some wow to winter windows.
Winter window boxes don’t necessarily have to feature on window sills. They can work really well on walls close to the house (maybe in an open porch) or positioned on approaching walled paths. Our metal window boxes in particular are very versatile for different styles of property. Whether you are sprucing up a country house or cottage, town house or apartment, business or B&B, period or contemporary, terraced or detached, you can transform the exterior of said place by planting up one or multiple window boxes with seasonal highlights. Magic!
Planting ideas for exterior window boxes.
The joy of a sturdy metal wirework frame window box is that pots and troughs can easily be switched in and out, giving you time to prep containers ahead of installation day. As soon as the window box is fixed in position, ready-planted pots are popped in – et voilà!
Jazzing up plastic or terra cotta pots with gold or silver spray paint is a good start. Now to the choice of plants. There’s a surprisingly diverse winter choice for UK exterior window boxes but often the simplest solution is the most arresting.
For dramatic shapes dwarf topiary is a favourite – pyramids, balls, spirals and columns – artfully shorn Buxus sempervirens (Box) is always an instant hit. Other good dwarf shrubs include trailing Hedera (Ivy) and – used by some professional gardeners to replace blighted Box – hardy Hebes. Hebe ‘Green Globe’ dwarf is a compact, bright green variety or for a change, the passionately purple-tinged Hebe ‘Heartbreaker’. Some miniature Winter shrubs will reward admirers with small scented flowers or, in the case of Solanum capsicastrum (the Winter cherry), with attractive fruits. Take some care with the latter, especially with pets and young children, as the tempting berries are toxic. Draping this shapely greenery with battery-operated LED fairy lights will truly lift festive spirits.
Continuing the green theme, a practical culinary window box fixed to a kitchen window or near a kitchen door can be such a pleasure for the chefs in the house. What a great idea for a foodie Christmas gift too. Plant this with hardy herbs in the winter – Rosemary, Sage and Winter Savoury are a good start. Some Thyme too will often last through the colder months, especially in the shelter of a South-ish facing window or wall and these can still look the part with lights draped through. For a more inventive kitchen look, consider planting pretty ornamental cabbages in your window box. The colder the weather, the more colourful they become.
Talking of colour, more mini winter stars of the plant world, which can be bought in various stages of flowering, include pleasing Hellebores (Lenten or Christmas Rose), Erysimum (Wall Flower), Viola odorata (Sweet Violet), Cyclamen coum and traditional Calluna vulgaris (Heather).
We’ve visualised some inspiring winter window box planting ideas over on Winter Window Boxes Pinterest to bring all these ideas to life. Do take a look.
Installation and instant gratification!
Our metal English wirework window boxes are handcrafted from long-lasting, weather-proof zinc-galvanised steel so once they’re in, they will look smart for years and years.
Securing a Garden Requisites window or wall box is so simple and each delivery comes with high quality fixing kit. If you’re concerned about how to best fix your window box in place or awkward sizing, do give us a call on 01225 851577. We have years of expert experience in this department.
In the meantime, if you’re thinking of really wowing those fickle festive guests, there’s no time like the present. Get thee to the garden centre and get prepping with those planters!
Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Hilary & John