Window boxes are cheery sights in the spring, summer and fall. Bright flowers and leaves dress up any home. In the winter, these boxes often lie empty, giving a somewhat neglected appearance to the house. With a variety of ways to decorate window boxes for winter, there is no need to let your box go empty this year.
Winter greenery dresses up a window box in freezing temperatures. Miniature conifers, such as the common juniper (Juniperus communis), are small, Christmas-tree-like plants that are hardy throughout the winter months. Plant a juniper in the window box, or stick cuttings of spruce and pine trees directly into the soil. Watering the cuttings the day before a freeze will preserve the greenery throughout the winter, encasing it in ice.
Small fruits and berries placed in the window box along with greenery make a colorful backdrop for the winter snow. Sprigs of berries, small pears, apples and even oranges will brighten up the window boxes. The fruit will remain preserved throughout the winter under freezing temperatures, or for several weeks in warmer areas. You can also use fake berries and fruit.
The addition of pine cones to a window box makes it look homey and festive. Use pine cones alone or in conjunction with greenery. Mix pine cones of different sizes for additional interest, or combine them with fruit and other decorations.
Several varieties of ivy thrive in winter conditions. The miniature ivy, common ivy (Hedera helix), is perfect for window boxes because it loves cold temperatures and remains small. Boston ivy and Virginia creeper will also survive frigid winters, spilling out over the edge of the window box for a country cottage effect. Potato vine tolerates cold and also cacades over the window box edge.
Surprisingly, some flowering plants grow well in winter conditions, making perfect additions to a winter window box. Primroses, pansies and forget-me-nots will all survive winter conditions in areas where temperatures do not regularly fall below 20 degrees.
Another way to decorate a window box in the winter is to style it for a holiday. Christmas balls, lights or other decorations adorn window boxes for the December holidays. Ribbons and fake or real snowballs also add to the celebratory feel. For Valentine's Day, wooden hearts and colorful ribbons make the boxes festive.
- Photo Credit window box image by Andrew Breeden from Fotolia.com
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