Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Window boxes of London

Now that the first day of spring has arrived, it is time to turn our attention to the beautiful possibilities that lie ahead for our 2016 gardens. This year, I’m thinking of adding a couple of window box-type planters to the front porch railing.

We had two gorgeous English “hayrack” window baskets at our home in Maryland, gifts from my late mother-in-law. I’m scratching my head as to why we didn’t bring them with us to the mountains. On second thought, removing them may have damaged the windowsills on the front of house. Or they may have been considered a part of the structure. At least we noted in the listing that our obelisk “did not convey.”

So during my travels, I like to look at window boxes and see what goodies people are planting. My trip to Nantucket was a real eye-opener. I wrote about the amazing boxes there in November of 2013. If you click on the word “Nantucket” above and check out the posting, you’ll see they used a variety of clever materials in their boxes from caladiums to cabbage. It all worked.

I didn’t think much could top those head-turners, until I visited London last September. Wow.

I love the way they used hydrangeas for fall boxes

Very cool draped ivy

The second floor of the house above. The bust and flowers make a great combo!

Take a break from the window boxes for a pick-me-up!


Detail of the wooden door carvings

Of course if you are going to grow these magnificent displays, you can’t just lay back and eat bonbons. I chatted with the pub owner who is climbing the ladder to water his boxes and he needs to get up there twice a day during warm weather. Otherwise the boxes will dry out in a jiffy.

You also don’t want to be timid. We Americans tend to follow instructions and put a plant 8” away from another if that’s what it says on the tag. “Mais non!” gardeners told me in in Annecy, France. Stuff as many plants in there as possible! That’s how they create their luscious boxes and baskets.

That appears to be the strategy in London as well. The flowers there were traffic stoppers. And even phone boxes rate a smashing, color-coordinated hanging basket.


Les said...

These are spectacular. I remember during my one trip to England seeing how even some of the most humble pubs had spectacular window boxes. They make it an art form.

Lynn Hunt said...

Yes they are an art form, Les. I'd love to know what was in the boxes with the hydrangeas earlier in the year and during summer. Just talking to this poor guy going up and down the ladder to water his boxes made me admire the determination to keep them looking pretty.

Sunil Patel said...

Hello Lynn, even the two little villages we live between host several hanging baskets and planters every year. I'm always amazed at the posts and brackets that support what must be a phenomenal weight. The hanging baskets for London are a serious commercial operation, I saw something on the TV about it a while ago; I don't remember much of it though.

Lynn Hunt said...

I'll bet it is a serious business, Sunil. I'd love to interview someone who does these boxes for a living. Would be so interesting to know how often they are changed, what fertilizer they use and so forth.

Skeeter said...

I loved all the beautiful Window Boxes during our European Days. So full and lush and perfect! Where the Saints family is from in Bavaria Germany, May 1 is the big planting day. I loved those Geranium's that draped down as the Wave Petunias we have here. Wonder why we cannot find those type Geraniums in the USA? Maybe too hot here for them.... Love your photos as they bring backs lots of fond memories. I don't have many photos from our travels as I Video taped most every where we went... Sigh...

Lynn Hunt said...

Oh no Skeeter! I'm so sorry you don't have as many photos of those days in Europe! But I'm really pleased you enjoyed seeing mine. I will ask a couple friends in London about the draping geraniums and see if they are available here (or at least what they are called!)

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