If your Summer window boxes, hanging baskets or pots are looking a bit played out now, it’s time to reset the stage for Act Two with a gorgeous Winter display.
You can choose to go for muted, Autumnal colours of oranges, reds and bronzes but I prefer to add a bit of zing to Winter displays which really pop amidst the background of the changing leaf colours.
These wonderful, Winter window boxes were potted up using the golden design rule of ‘a thriller, a filler and a spiller’. A central Hebe was used as the thriller to hold the structure and set the tone for purple; three varieties of Viola were added in purples and yellows for the filler pop of colour; Thyme Golden Queen with it’s gorgeous, aromatic foliage was used at the front of the box to pick up the yellow tone and to both fill and creep over the edges and a trailing variegated Ivy was used as the spiller as both corners.
In planting up a window box like this, you want it to see you right through to Spring before you have to refresh it so the display was underplanted with some dwarf Daffodil Tete a Tete and Muscari Armeniacum bulbs. All that means is that generally, you set the bulbs in the window box first at around a depth of 5cm as these are dwarf bulbs, cover with soil and then set the plants on top of them.
As the Thyme and Ivy will probably stay in this window box, they were set in place first and the bulbs placed under where the Violas would go. This means that as the Violas start to fade and look tatty by the Spring, they can be whipped out carefully once you see the emerging shoots of the Daffodils and Muscari pushing though around February and the space will be filled in no time with fresh, Spring flowers in the same tones of yellow and purple.
Once the Spring blooms start to go over, they can be replaced with some zingy, Summer bedding to refresh the whole window display to see you through another Season.
One final tip: do leave a little room in the window box for the plants to settle in and puff themselves out a bit. You won’t get the prolific type of growth seen in Summer baskets but look at how this basket has filled out in the space of two weeks.