The flowering window gardens of Venice and Provence provide the inspiration for this week’s DIY gardening project.
Going beyond the simple box designs you may know, window gardens take on a grander scale, trailing up and around the frame to create a dramatic vertical landscape that can be enjoyed from the inside as well as out.
You can design and create your own captivating window garden in a single afternoon, using our helpful tips and tricks.
Graceful and Inspirational Window Garden Designs
If you spend a moment browsing online images of European window gardens, you’ll notice that each one is as unique as its creator. And, in fact, no two are alike.
You can choose any type of containers and plants you prefer, but the most window garden impressive examples take their design cue from the architectural style of the home and the shape of the opening. For example, if your window is tall but narrow, chose plants and containers with a similar scale, such as mother-in-law’s tongue in a tall, thin metal can. You can also enhance tall openings by hanging plants from the top and along the sides. Or select vining plants that will grow up and around, creating a natural artistic design.
For a wider, shorter window, use short, rectangular containers similar to a traditional window garden box. Select plants that are generally shorter with a rounded profile. However, you can create visual interest by varying their height slightly.
Create Your Window Garden with These Tips
The Europeans say that, “Where’s there’s a window, there’s a way to garden.”
Begin your design by determining what sizes and shapes of containers will work best with your space. Before going in search of your window garden containers, however, take a moment to consider how you will attach them. Many European windows have a large exterior sill that lends itself to outdoor window gardening. In the United States, however, most of our window sills are inside.
If you prefer to create your garden outside, in the European tradition, you may have to anchor your containers to the exterior surface of your home. Metal horse trough-style planters are ideal for creating a secure window garden base, into which you can add your plants.
Hang overhead containers with swag hooks, using a screw attachment if you’re going into a wood surface or butterfly anchors for other surfaces. Be sure your hooks are rated to bear weight in excess of your hanging baskets.
Finally, give some thought to how you will water your window garden. Ensure your containers have plenty of drainage, but beware of surface staining from any runoff.
If Flowers Aren’t Your Thing, Try Window Farming
If you haven’t yet heard this term, you will again soon. Window farming is becoming an extremely popular was to grow fruits, herbs and vegetables in a small space.
As you might guess, window farming is just like window gardening, but with edible plants. Although the technique was originally conceived using empty plastic bottles with a hydroponic set-up, the concept has expanded to include a variety of containers and methods.
The beauty of a window farm is that it’s as beautiful as it is functional. Using the same principles as container gardening, you can group colorful lettuces, peppers and tomatoes. Intermix fruits and veggies with herb plants and enjoy a daily salad plucked right from your windowsill.
Millcreek Gardens, Salt Lake City’s locally owned and operated garden center, has everything you need to create the ideal garden and landscape design. Our expert staff can help you select the perfect containers, plants and accessories to create your own European-inspired window garden.