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How to plant beautiful window boxes and containers like a pro

Gardening with Gutner learns from a designer the right combinations of flowers for the perfect window box and container.

MAINE, USA — Window box planters are an easy way to bring beauty to your home, but choosing which flowers to use and the planting them the right way can be a challenge. 

Gardening with Gutner went to Skillins Greenhouses in Falmouth, where designer Melissa Madigan showed us some beautiful combinations and how to make them last. 

"Usually I have a customer make an appointment with me. They come in, they bring their boxes, and then we walk around the yard and the greenhouse, and they pick out the plants they like. What colors they want. We also take into account, 'Is it shade, or do they need full sun?'" Madigan explained. 

The designer then went on to show the step-by-step planting process:

  • Start with potting soil. You want to get about a half-inch from the top of the planter.
  • Then add fertilizer to the dirt. Madigan prefers organic.
  • Work fertilizer into the potting soil. 
  • Then add flowers.

The designer revealed the three elements of a window box or container:

  • Thrillers
  • Fillers
  • Spillers

Thrillers are the tall plants that are in the back of the grouping. Fillers pack in the space between the Thrillers and the Spillers. Spillers go in the front and drape down the front of the box. 

For this full-sun window box, Madigan used Angelface, Bright Lights African Daisies, French Lavender, Calibrachoa, and Sweet Alyssum. 

Credit: NCM

She loves Sweet Alyssum because it grows all summer in the hot sun and gives off a wonderful scent. 

For the design of a shade container, Madigan used a houseplant named Colocasia Mojito. 

Credit: NCM

"Houseplants love to be outside in the summer," Madigan said.

Just like window boxes, fill the container with potting soil and mix in fertilizer. Madigan paired a fuchsia, coleus, limelight, and various other coleuses to complete the arrangement. 

Use of the "Thriller, Filler, Spiller" method of planting a window box or container combined with creativity will lead to beautiful arrangements that are gorgeous and will make your home stand out. 


Watch more Gardening with Gutner: 

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