Clay, plastic, wood,
or metal wondow boxes?
The choice can be bewildering. I choose plastic for my
windowboxes for two reasons;
- it is light enough to enable me to turn the boxes
- it does not break easily, so can stand a lot of bumps and knocks
when I turn them.
For my pots I choose clay because I like the colours and the
glazes, also on natural terracotta I like the weathering patterns.
buy anything though it is a good idea to measure the maximum size that your
windowsill can take. I know this to my cost having returned home with a lovely
terracotta pot that is just a little too wide.
The choice here is between containers that
have their drainage trays attached and those that have separate drainage trays.
The advantage of an attached tray is that it looks part of the container. The
disadvantage can be that you cannot see how much water, if any, has drained
through until it starts to overflow.
If the overflow will cause a nuisance to
others then it might be better to get containers with separate drainage trays
so that you do not drip water on your neighbours or passersby.
The photograph on the
left shows a Bombus terrestris on
Scabious. The scabious was unplanned, and grows in an overcrowded
windowbox. It hangs over the side as there is no space, but the bumblebees and
hoverflies don't mind.
Normally I dead head my flowers, but I am leaving the
large seed head of the scabious for the birds to eat in the
You will provide the main source of water
for your windowbox, so if you are going away, especially during the summer, you
will need to either get someone in to water your plants, or set up a watering
system. Or you can ask the neighbour above to water them from above!
Nurseries, garden centres and online shops have a huge range of stuff to choose from. You can even get a completely automated watering and feeding system attached to a tap. This means you can go away for as long as you like and the plants will still be looked after