Hi, and welcome to our page all about window planter box and ideas for balconies.
Many apartments have balconies which are purely for cosmetic reasons to block neighbours and act as barriers. Others are not quite big enough, and some are large enough to have chairs, table -an outdoor entertaining area.
Some apartments have none of these, but may have an external windowsill on which we can put plants or a window planter box. All of these ideas bring the natural world into our homes.
The outlook in many urban apartments is bleak. Some auspicious sites look over a park or a river, but many balconies overlook a busy road or brick wall.
Feng Shui ( window planter box )
Many apartment balconies overlook the windows of other apartments. Peering eyes can be a problem as we wash up or clean our teeth. The Four Animals formation suggests that we need to define our space. By placing a window box on our windowsill we will not only define the Phoenix position, we also fill our homes with the wood energy of growing plants.
"Recent studies have shown that hospital patients who overlook a garden recover more quickly than patients who do not have such a view".
A healthy display of plants to greet us in the morning will spur us on for the day ahead and welcome us in the home in the evening.
Growing plants on balconies can be problematic. Strong winds dry out pots and damage plants. Also, compost is heavy and and can be difficult to transport to the apartment planter box then disposed of later.
Cosmetic balconies may not be able cope with heavy weights and we must be mindful of this when choosing containers and plants.
On right, the start of a beautiful apartment garden awaiting first light.
Bulbs can be a useful balcony solution too, since they require only a small amount of compost. A succession of bulbs throughout the year will connect us with the four seasons. Providing we keep them watered until the foliage has dried down, we can lift the bulbs and store them for the following year.
Depending on the direction of which the balcony faces, the color of the bulbs may be chosen to correspond to the direction, or to focus on a life aspiration, using the Bagua. Of course this not essential.
Other plants may be used. It is preferable to plant shrubs and miniature trees and use annual plants as spots of color, rather than attempting to uproot plants and dispose of them several times a year.
Traditional window planter box
Maintenance for a window planter box
Container grown plants need regular attention to maintain them in prime condition and so ensure the best display possible. If you make it a habit of inspecting them while watering, you will notice any problems as they arise.
Window boxes and other containers can dry out quickly and regular watering is essential. It should be carried out in the early morning or late evening in the summer months. If only one watering time is available, the best is late in the evening for maximum water uptake.
A watering can is adequate for small window boxes, a hose will be more effective for larger ones.
Most compost mixes (potting mix) contain enough food for only six weeks of plant growth. After that, you will need to feed your plants using a variety of plant foods such as slow release fertilizer granules and pellets, liquid feed or a general fertilizer.
Always follow the manufacturers instructions, as too much fertilizer or liquid feed can burn the plants root system.
Sun and Shade
When planning your containers, consider how much light you windowsills recieve and try to plant accordingly. Sun loving plants will look sick and lose color if they are kept in perpetual shade, and those preferring dark, moist conditions may die in hot sun.
This is an efficient means of adding nuitients to plants, as they are added to water. both organic and chemical fertizers are available in many formulas. They may be added to the compost or sprayed directly on to the leaves, depending on the type. Apply liquid fertilizer fortnightly in the growing season.
Stumpy's Tip- Use a quality potting mix, with an added slow release fertizer, save time and money! Dead-heading and pruning
Faded flowers will mar your plants and spoil your display. Remove them as soon as they fade. This will help with the growth of more flowers, and stop diseases from attacking the plants. Also discard old stem growth that looks unsightly.
Remove old dead wood and flowers regularly
Athough not a planter box! This mass planting says it all.
SATISFYING THE SENSES FOR YOUR WINDOW PLANTER BOX
Window boxes appeal to our senses in more than one way. They should aways be a visual stimulation, but can also be used to satisfy our senses of touch, taste and smell by including textured scented and even edible plants.
How you use colour in a window box will depend on what you want to achieve. You can create a carefully co-ordinated planting or make a brash statement. You can plant in a single colour or use several together to create a lovely image.
Your use of colour will influence the mood of the planting. Hot colours introduce excitement into a planting. Intense blues will cool things down. White imparts a sense of purity and tranquility. Pastels introduce a romantic tone.
When planting your window boxes remember that light affects colours. Strong, hot colours, , especially red, work better in strong light and respond better to shade. Colour combinations for window planter box
Not all colours mix well and it is usually best to place plant colours that harmonise next each other. White and blue seem to work with almost any colour, and pastels are easy to arrange together. The ones to be careful of are brilliant oranges with strong magenta.
On right,"Maranta,Prayer plant", a foliage visual stimulation
USING FOLIAGE FOR VISUAL IMPACT
With it's variety of shapes and colours, foliage is an essential element of garden design, whether in the flower garden bed or in a window box. Foliage comes in a vast number of shades,including white, cream, gold, silver, red, and purple.
It is possible to create window boxes using only foliage plants, either with contrasting colours or within a narrow range. For example you could use only foliage with yellow or golden tinges, but with plenty of variation in shape, and perhaps set off by a plant with darker green leaves.
Also leaf colours change through the year. Variegated hosta leaves can deepen in colour as the year progresses.
Blending foliage with flowers
More commonly though, foliage is regarded as a part of a planting that features flowers, and the type of foliage can be chosen specifically for its ability to work well with certain flower colours. Dark greens work well with strong hot colours. Soft greens and silver suit cool blues and pinks. Additional benefits for having a window planter box
Many plants have healing qualities and, while they should not be used for health condition without first checking with your medical practitioner, some have provided successful country remedies for centuries.
Lavender soothes headaches and Rosemary is a general pick me up. Camomile is used in herbal teas for relaxation and sleep and Feverfew is said to alleviate migraines. If you have a problem that can be relieved by simple remedy, why not grow the herb on the windowsill for a ready supply?
Some herbs can be used to repel insects. Pennyroyal rubbed around an area will deter ants, and Black basil keeps flies at bay.
Conversely, some sweet smelling flowers are irresistible to Butterflies, especially Sedum, which flowers in Autumn. Water Retaining Gel
You can reduce the frequency of watering needed by adding water raing gels to the compost/potting mix. Sachets of gel are available from garden centres.
You mix it with the compost/potting mix at the recommended rate. though some types may need soaking in water first. Ensure that you don't add to special conatiner mixes that already contain a watering gel, as large amounts can create problems, and froth up through the mix.