Get some inspiration and learn how to create beautiful window boxes for your home using these Charleston-inspired flower box ideas and designs.
Flower Box Ideas: 10 Ways To Create Beautiful Window Boxes
Phew! This has been a busy week! I just got back from my favorite DIY Bloggers Conference in one of my favorite cities…Charleston, SC.
If you’ve never been to Charleston, I think it’s a must-visit location. Especially if you love home decor and gardens as much as I do. (And the food is pretty awesome, too!)
The whole downtown area looks like it stepped out of a picture book with beautiful old houses, well-kept gardens behind wrought iron gates, and real gas-lit lanterns.
However, my absolute favorite part of Charleston is all of the window boxes. Almost every house has them and they are all gorgeous! Even in the middle of the summer!
Since I’m always looking for ideas for my planters, I decided I would take some time while I was there to gather some summer window box inspiration.
So here are the flower box ideas I found.
More Is More
One of the window box flower ideas that was common across all of the window boxes I saw…they all use lots of plants!
Every window box was packed full, and that’s what gives them their full and lush appearance.
I think all that foliage would also help to prevent the soil from drying out as quickly (but more on that below).
Define A Focal Point
Second on my list of window flower box ideas is to use large plants to anchor the center of the container and provide a focal point.
Using evergreens is a great way to do this since their needles also provide a contrast in texture with the other plant leaves. And if you live in a moderate climate, they will likely survive through the winter.
Some variegated ivy and bright pink impatiens finish the rest of these really simple window boxes that will flourish in the shade.
Use Cascading Flowers For Window Boxes
Planting cascading flowers or greenery that flows over the edge of the window box makes them look much bigger and more dramatic.
These Million Bells Calibrachoa are one of the best flowers for window boxes in the sun. They are available in pretty much any color you want, and really put on a show! Just make sure to keep them well watered. They will wilt really fast if they get dried out.
Fill In The Gaps
When it comes right down to it, a lot of these window flower box ideas are using the same Thriller, Spiller and Filler planting formula that I use for my containers. So far, you’ve seen the Thriller (focal point) and the spiller (cascading plants), now it’s on to the fillers…the plants that fill out the rest of the box.
In the picture above, Coleus is the thriller, Evolvulus and trailing Lobelia are spillers, while Penstemon, Pentas and Mandevilla make up the fillers.
I love this whole combination so much I had to zoom in closer so you could see all the details.
Plant Window Boxes In The Shade
The streets in Charleston are narrow, the lots are small, and the houses are tall. All that to say, they have quite a bit of shade. But that doesn’t stop them from having beautiful flower boxes!
Caladium and Coleus have multi-colored leaves that make them beautiful statement plants for window boxes in shade. These boxes are also using Lobelia which is a great trailing plant with beautiful blue flowers.
You Might Also Like: Beautiful Blue Plants For Containers In The Shade
Coral Bells (Heuchera) fills in the middle of this window box in the shade while Vinca and Dichondra cascade down the front.
Use Layers Of Color
If you’re having trouble figuring out how to design your window box, using layers of color is an easy and effective way to go.
I just love this window box using layers of white, green and purple.
This box starts with white and green Caladium as the focal point, then a layer of purple and green Salvia as the filler, and then a layer of Purple Heart. Finally, a dracaena spike adds some height to the back of the flower box arrangement while the silver Dichondra trails repeats the white all the way to the ground.
This window box uses red impatiens as the top layer, silver dusty miller for a side accent, and green ivy, sweet potato vine and Dichondra as the cascading plants.
Repetition Is Key
Window flower boxes really make a statement when they are repeated multiple times.
In Charleston, this seems like it is a given. Unless the house only has one window, they are definitely repeating their window boxes!
Plant Greenery Under The Boxes
If you don’t have a lot of windows, another window box flower idea is to repeat the flowers and plants on the ground under the boxes which makes it look like one big floral display.
This little garden doesn’t take up much space but you certainly can’t miss it when you’re walking by.
Match The House Color
If you want a no-fail solution to picking flowers for your window box, you can always match your house color.
I’m not even sure if the flowers in the window box of this pink house are real, but they certainly look pretty.
Similarly, using white flowers against a white house is always a classic color combination which looks stunning with the black trim on this house.
Having the planter box finished in the same color as the shutters and the door also helps to create a cohesive look.
Water The Flower Boxes Automatically
Okay, so this isn’t really a window box design idea, but I think it’s kind of an important step for having beautiful window boxes all summer long. And I noticed that most of the Charleston houses do this.
They use an automated container watering system like this one*.
If you look closely at the pictures, you’ll see a lot of them have tubes running down the wall. I think that explains how all of their window boxes still look so good in the middle of a hot South Carolina summer!
It’s definitely something I’ll be doing for my planters! No more crossing my fingers that it rained enough to keep them alive while I’m away 🙂
Well, that’s it for my window flower box inspiration. Now I’m off to see what I did with those old hay racks I used to have…maybe I can add a little bit of Charleston to my house…