Do you have time for a quick bit of advice?

young-gardenerJuly 21, 2010

I'm getting ready to go to Home Depot to pick up supplies for building a window box for our house. The window I'm working on is the set on the right of the porch when you look at the house.

Sorry to use old pictures, but that's all I could find this morning. I hope they aren't too distracting.

As you can see, they are split like this.

I have two questions.

1. Do you think it would look better to do one long box or two shorter boxes?

2. The inside of the window and the shutters will be the dark brown you see. The trim is white. What color would you do the boxes, white or brown?

These will replace last weeks's attempt, two 24" boxes (the biggest lowe's had). DH thought they looked ridiculous against our large window.

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Ah, maybe this will help. It still doesn't have the landscaping, but at least it's mostly painted. :)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:55AM
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Width of each window: 32 inches
Length from window edge to window edge: 72 in
Entire Length from Trim edge to trim edge: 87in

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 11:01AM
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One problem you might have is the title of your post that sounds as if YOU are giving advice, rather than seeking it.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 11:12AM
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Oops! Well, I'm not sure how to edit that. I guess I'll cross my fingers. :)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 11:17AM
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Well I am not great at this. I would do one window edge to window edge with a few=three or so supports under the window box. I never had good luck with window boxes. I was bad able letting them dry out.:^((

Your house is so cute.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 1:37PM
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I just did this this year! I would do two smaller ones (trust me, they get SO heavy) for each window. They're super easy to make, I would use cedar for sure. Try to secure them through the back at the top and underneath with brackets. Ours probably took about six hours to make and get installed, but I had no idea what i was doing! I'll try to take a picture...

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 1:59PM
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Don't make them too deep either (i made a previous set where I made all of these mistakes, they didn't work at all!) as when they're wet they're enormously heavy on the fasod of your house. I need to repaint mine, I used barn paint with a built in primer and i have to keep painting them because it keeps fading into the cedar. I also lined mine with plastic lining so the cedar isn't soaked in water all the time.

I got the pattern from a picture online and used a drill to make the design out of little holes. The brackets underneath are just wood corbels screwed over some metal brackets that do a lot of the actual supporting.

From [house]( From [house](
    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 2:07PM
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I think I'll look into the plastic liners. I'm in Atlanta, so they're sure to get dry quickly.

I ended up with 1 x 8 cedar. I had them cut it 88" long, with the idea that I could always cut it down from there if I don't like it. I'm going to have DH hold it up for me and let me see it, I think. At least that's the plan now that the rain has washed out my chance of working on it on my own this afternoon.

Enigma- I love the design you used! I might try something like that. I wonder if it impacts the moisture. Maybe I could drill just partway in? Thanks, also for your thoughts on paint. I was wondering what to use on the cedar. I believe my trim paint has a primer built in. Did you make the brackets? I couldn't find any exterior brackets, so I ended up getting shelf supports and extra wood. I thought I could rig up something like this.

I'm glad I decided to do this today. Lowe's happened to have their day lilies marked down to a dollar, so I stocked up! You can never have too many. :)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 2:18PM
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I know the boxes get heavy if you make them really deep, but I like the look of one box. Keep the wood simple, and before you drill any holes or designs in it, try painting a design on to see what looks best....then later on make it permanent.

In your mix, put some of those water crystals in, but please do not do as I did and overdo it....the pot will turn to SLIME. Your flowers will be SLIMED.....And they tell you to use a lot of peat moss, but that stuff is way too dry, so you have to get some really good potting mix. I'd prefer the MiracleGro moisture mix which helps retain water, especially if you don't want to add the moisture crystals.

If you decide to do a drain for the excess water, drill a couple of holes through the liner and the wood, and then get something like the whole end of an old waterhose and caulk it into place from the inside. Lay yourself a long piece of wire or fiberglas screen over the bottom and then pour in your potting mix. A time release fertilizer will be better to use (Osmocote) after the plants have been adjusting for a couple of weeks.

The windows on our house are in pairs separated by a wider muntin than you have. (I think the word is muntin, just saw it used the other day in a new book on residential architecture...but I could be totally wrong.) The windows read as a pair, so I'd treat the window box as a single unit beneath the pair. But you might choose to use FOUR WOODEN BRACKETS even with a single box. The more support, the less stress on your siding.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 3:24PM
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Thanks for all the advice, moccasin! It's good to get tips from someone who's had boxes before. I hope the plants make it. :) I'm starting a bit late in the season, but I don't want to wait until next spring.

I have some peat moss in the shed but will need to pick up some potting soil. I just have some cheap stuff out there now, and I certainly don't have enough for a 7 ft. window box. :) I'll look into the moisture control kind.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 4:34PM
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I can't help on the size of the boxes but I can see where one long one would be really heavy, unless you set pots inside it.

On color, I think I would go with a 3rd color, like a brick red like your walkway, or a deep green. Something that keeps it from being so monochromatic.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 6:33PM
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I hadn't thought of red, marti8a, but that would work because our front door is currenlty red.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 8:33PM
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If you don't use red, then go withe the shutter color -- brown. Cute house!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 8:56PM
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If you don't use red, then go withe the shutter color -- brown. Cute house!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 9:00PM
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Just to add to your decision making, I made 4'x1'x1' planters for the deck this year but I didn't want to put in a wood bottom, which would rot over time. Instead, I used the staple gun to attach (in many, many places) a double layer of heavy grade plastic. I then poked holes in the bottom for drainage, layered screening on the bottom and then filled them with dirt. I also live in the Atlanta area and it seems to me that the plastic helps keep in the moisture along with making the planters much lighter. Additionally, although the planter looks like it is 1' deep, the plastic is placed so that I have about 8" of planting depth. Have year I tackle the window boxes!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 7:54AM
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