It’s that time of the week again, Friiiidaaaay! I’m telling y’all this has been the busiest week ever and I am thanking my lucky stars for my awesome bloggy friends that have been guest posting each week. Last week’s post highlighted one of my all-time favorite comfort foods, Chicken Pot Pie. This week I’m excited to have Adrienne Erin from Pongra blogging about one of my other loves, gardening! Check out her tips for growing your very own window box herb garden.
You have put together a beautiful salad for a late summer dinner when a summer storm sets in. Despite the rain, you know your dinner could be enhanced with some fresh grown herbs, but walking to the garden is no longer an option. Imagine simply reaching out your window and having all that you need at your fingertips. Besides keeping you dry during a summer storm, window box herb gardens have countless benefits that will allow you to jump start the kind of garden that you’ve always wanted.
The majority of culinary herbs flourish in the confined spaces of window boxes. The ideal setting allows them the proper drainage and sunlight that they require. Further, various herbs are not known to weather a storm very easily; being situated against the house will help to moderate temperature and weather extremes.
Once you determine the environment appropriate for each herb to grow, anyone is capable of successfully dressing up their windows with a flourishing herb garden. When considering these factors, keep the following criteria in mind:
The scope of your window box is important to keep in mind, although all dimensions are capable of flourishing herbs. A article from Fine Gardening describes the importance of size in detail:
“Even the gardener with very little space can usually find room for a window box. If you have room for only a tiny box, simply select herbs from among the smallest varieties–miniature thyme, ‘Blue Boy’ rosemary, ‘Minette’ basil, dwarf moss-curled parsley–and avoid those that can easily take over a small space, such as mints, chamomile, and standard varieties of oregano, rosemary, and lavender.”
Taller plants are not impossible to grow in window box gardens; just remember to keep pinching them back, or they will dwarf the rest of your garden and not end up looking that great. Definitely don’t let them climb up your screen, or you may end up having to shell out for a new screen or even replacement windows.
As with any aspect of gardening, it is important to consider both light and water exposure. Take into account how much of each will be able to reach your window box and plant accordingly. For example, if your box will be riddled with sunlight for the majority of the day, Mediterranean climate herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, or sage, will do best. On the contrary, a consistently shady site will accommodate fewer herbs but ideal for some, including various mints and violet.
Along with sun exposure, consider the amount of rainfall actually reaching each window box. Your roof or simple placement of the box may constrict the herbs from obtaining the proper amount of nourishment. If this is the case, simply watering your boxes just like your other garden plants might be necessary. Similarly, keep in mind that most herbs require proper drainage to avoid drowning in too much water. Window boxes provide the perfect opportunity for this. Just remember to drill the holes and prepare accordingly when building!
Whether you have one or five different window boxes, it is enjoyable to put your own creative energy into each one. You could apply various themes to each window box. For example, your theme could simply be a wide array of basils. Or you could go more specific and create a French themed window box, including herbs like chives, tarragon, or parsley. Next to France, you could grow “Italy” with various herbs such as oregano, marjoram, or rosemary.
Convenience, capability, and creativity are all reasons to get out there and build you first herb garden window box. In addition, if you use herbs heavily while cooking, you will quickly find that in addition to sitting pretty, your window box is saving you a lot of money! The benefits along the possibilities are endless with this form of gardening. Once you experience the ease and joy of reaching out your window into a world of fresh herbs, window boxes will soon become a staple in your home.
Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer who loves to garden in her spare time. Her other obsessions range from social media to vintage postcard collecting and speaking French. To see more of her work, visit her blog Pongra or follow her on Twitter at @adrienneerin.