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Window boxes (London)

(15 Posts)
timeisnotaline Wed 18-Nov-15 20:34:43

Our window boxes looked bright and fun when we planted them in May and are now mostly dead. Granted watering might help, but what are the other secrets to successful window boxing? Googling before we put them together didn't produce much helpful advice. Any and all tips welcome (except 'don't have window boxes')

gingeroots Thu 19-Nov-15 08:46:12

I replanted my pots last month as although the geranium and lobelia were still flowering ,the petunias were over .
There's a couple of threads on here for suggestions as to winter planting
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/gardening/2507535-Winter-planters-what-looks-attractive

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/gardening/2482259-Winter-pots

Obviously the size and type of window box is relevant to what you plant .

Like pots window boxes need enough water in the summer and good drainage all the time but especially in winter .I use a saucer/tray under in summer and the replace with feet in the winter .

I add water retaining granules in the summer .

I'm in London and have found that geraniums go on flowering for a long time .Mine are still blooming - tho it's been mild .

HTH

yankeecandle4 Thu 19-Nov-15 08:51:39

If you planted in May I assume you have summer stuff in there. Change over to winter stuff which will do you until next summer (if you go for evergreens). The above links have good suggestions.

MonsterDeCookie Thu 19-Nov-15 08:52:50

I have window boxes and they do need a ton of water. They usually end up too sheltered from the rain for that to even help the cause. I've gone for a central small conifer that stays in year round and seasonal plants around it that I change our twice a years. Trying to get ones that don't need the plants changing out seasonally tends to lead to very dull boxes.

MonsterDeCookie Thu 19-Nov-15 08:55:45

Here's what they end up looking like in the Autumn. Now they have a few little Christmas decorations because I can't help myself! The green plants with white flowers are called 'Christmas carols' and they are winter blooming.

gingeroots Thu 19-Nov-15 09:03:15

Oh I like the decorations ,are you going to get a little santa and a few baubles ?

>>>>wanders off thinking of possibilties ...

blueobsessive Thu 19-Nov-15 22:48:11

I'd suggest planting bulbs (daffs, mini tulips and iris reticulate) then putting primroses or violas and maybe some ivy on top. This way you'll have colour over the winter from the bedding plants, then you'll get the irises in Jan/ Feb, daffs in March, tulips in April, then the bedding plants should have a second flush - then you can replace the lit with your summer bedding plants, keeping the bulbs for next year.
Good luck

timeisnotaline Fri 20-Nov-15 13:40:26

Very interesting all, thank you! We do have water granules but I think i underestimated the amount of additional watering. Some great suggestions there and I will read your links. I am not even sure of the names of everything I did put in them- yes to geraniums and ivy, some plants with silver frond like leaves, alyssum , snapdragons (which I just love but are clearly too sensitive).

gingeroots Sat 21-Nov-15 10:01:51

I've always used water retaining granules for summer planters ,but they may be wrong for winter ones .Might mean plants have cold wet roots which will make them rot .

I'm no expert ,just learning as I go along but thought I'd mention it .

ledgeoffseason Mon 30-Nov-15 09:03:41

Columbia road have very good, inexpensive plants - like others I have just accepted I replant twice a year! Last year at this time I planted some cyclamen with two small mini Christmas trees - was very cute. You could swap for pansies in feb. then yes, geraniums brilliant.

ledgeoffseason Mon 30-Nov-15 09:04:21

Sorry, meant swap for primroses. Both cyclamen and primroses would look nice with small ivies if yours have survived?

gingeroots Mon 30-Nov-15 09:29:19

Two of my cyclamen have rotted ( I presume ) away from the ? tuber .

I've not watered but guess they're exposed to rain . Also think I didn't leave enough space between plants in the pot .

V.grateful for any thoughts ...

EldonAve Mon 30-Nov-15 09:37:59

I usually stick to geraniums
The squirrels dug up all the bulbs so I don't bother with them anymore
I have a begonia as well which has been flowering for 6mths - I guess it will die eventually but it was only a couple of quid from Sainsburys

echt Tue 01-Dec-15 08:16:03

When I lived in London, I always planted cyclamen in winter; the small ones, because they have scent, which the big ones don't.

Thinking of London window sills, they can't hold big boxes, so water-retaining crystals and regular top-ups are the answer, every other day.

In summer, always pelargoniums (or is it pelargonia?), which are more forgiving of less water.

gingeroots Tue 01-Dec-15 09:16:46

My cyclamen were the small ones .Why did the plant seperate from the corm (?) ? Rot ? How could I have prevented ?

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