Posts

The Best Cascading Flowers for Window Boxes

When it comes to window box planting, there is a rule of thumb that many are aware of; it’s known as the “thriller, filler, and spiller” rule, which gives the window box a balanced, beautiful design. Cascading flowers for window boxes, the “spillers” of the triune, are called such because they “spill out” of the […]

How to Keep Hanging Baskets from Drying Out

“Why do my hanging baskets die?” This is a common question, and yet the answer in most cases is surprisingly simple: they are not getting enough, or a consistent amount of, water. Because the plants and flowers that are planted in hanging baskets have little room to grow, and the small amount of soil included […]

Self-Watering Reservoirs for Window Box Planters - Easy Curb Appeal - Hooks and Lattice

Self-Watering Reservoirs: Best Kept Secret in Container Gardening

Are you searching for a simple solution for keeping your plants healthy? By using self-watering planters, you do not have to worry about regular watering. You simply fill the self-watering reservoirs for window boxes and your plants take care of the rest – remaining hydrated weeks at a time, depending on weather conditions.

Thanks to this easy-to-use container irrigation setup, you no longer need a green thumb to maintain your plant life. Read on to learn how to make DIY self-watering planters for residential or commercial use.

What is a Self-Watering Reservoir?

As the name implies, self-watering reservoirs for window boxes and planters allow your plants to absorb water as needed. They are essentially plastic containers with a tube extending from the top.

You can find them in a wide selection of sizes and shapes, to accommodate any planter. This includes our 36x8x3-inch rectangular self-watering reservoir, which fits rectangular planters. For a large square planter, we have a 24x24x3-inch reservoir – along with dozens of other options, including custom reservoirs to fit your planter.

In this educational container gardening video, Claire covers how to make any window box planter self-watering in just minutes. Click to watch or shop planter box reservoirs online.

How Do You Use Self-Watering Planters?

Self-watering planters are incredibly easy to use. They also ensure that your plants do not receive too much or too little water. You just need to choose the right size. Plants will wick moisture from the surrounding 9 inches of soil, depending on the plan and planter size. So, your reservoir should be no more than 18-inches shorter than the length of your planter, again proportional relative to size.

There are just 3 steps to using your reservoir to keep your plants hydrated:

Step 1 – Arranging Your Reservoir

First, you place a thin layer of gravel along the bottom of your planter. This will help provide drainage in the event that you add too much water. Top off the gravel with an inch or two of soil. You then set your reservoir on top of the gravel and soil layers. The included fill tube 

Step 1: Place Reservoir in Any Window Box Planter

Step 2 – Adding Soil and Plants

With your reservoir in place, you can begin adding soil. As you add soil, tamp it down, while avoiding packing too firmly. Make sure that you allow the reservoir tube to extend from the surface of your soil.

Once you add soil, you can add plants as usual. You can hide the tube, but you should ensure that you can still easily pour water into it.

Step 2: After placing the planter reservoir in your container, add soil and plants.

Step 3 – Fill Your Reservoir with Water

The final step is to fill your reservoir with water. Pour water until you can see water in the tube. Through capillary action, your plants will absorb as much water as they need. You no longer have to deal with over or under-watering.

Generally, a full reservoir should keep your plants hydrated for up to 2 weeks. This makes PlanterWell reservoirs great for residential and commercial use. Conserve water and keep plants hydrated as needed while reducing maintenance time and increasing curb appeal with beautiful containers.

Step 3: After adding soil and plants, fill reservoir with water using the PVC fill tube. There is no way to over water!

You should be able to tell when the reservoir is empty by looking through the watering tube. Shining a light down the tube could help with this process. Much like you check the oil levels of your vehicle you can also use a dowel to measure water levels. You should refill your reservoir in the mornings before the plants begin to receive their sunlight for the day for best results.

Simplify Your Plant Care with Water Reservoirs

Caring for plants is not always easy. You may forget to water them regularly or you may not have the time to keep your plants watered. For this reason, many turn to the best-kept secret in container gardening – self-watering reservoirs.

If you want to simplify the way you care for your plants, then consider using self-watering planters. You can start with a self-watering reservoir DIY project or purchase any of our durable pre-made reservoirs.

You can easily add a self-watering system to any of your existing residential or commercial planters. Browse our selection of planter reservoirs to create your own self-watering garden.

WindowBoxBeautyContest - Coming Soon! Follow Hooks and Lattice on Instagram for More Info on How to Enter

Easy Window Box Ideas for Boosting Curb Appeal

Easy Spring Window Box Ideas for Instant Curb Appeal

Spring has arrived, which means that it is time to get busy adding colorful floral arrangements around the exterior of your home. If you have thought about adding flowers or plants to the outside of your house, you should think about using planter boxes. They allow you to easily boost curb appeal and make your home more inviting.  

But, how do you choose the right window boxes to go with the décor of your home? Keep reading to find helpful window box ideas from Hooks and Lattice.

Fiberglass and PVC Planter Boxes

When you are looking for lightweight window box planters, you may want to consider using fiberglass or PVC planters. Fiberglass and PVC are nearly indestructible and are available in a wide range of styles and designs.

Among our most popular fiberglass window boxes are the Cleat Mount Laguna Planters. They feature clean lines that are perfect for colonial, Georgian or contemporary style homes.

Laguna Fiberglass Window Box - Distressed Pewter Finish

Laguna Fiberglass Window Box – Distressed Pewter Finish

These fiberglass designs can mimic the look of other materials, such as our Distressed Window Boxes or Bronze Fiberglass Planters. Both of these options have a rustic look that will help draw more attention to the exterior of your home.

Aluminum and Wrought Iron Window Boxes

If you are trying to dress up a brownstone or Tudor style home, you may want to take a closer look at our aluminum and wrought iron window boxes. They are also great for Victorian and Queen Anne style homes. The elegant handcrafted wrought iron has an authentic look. This captures the old world charm that is popular with a variety of home styling options.

European Iron Cage Close Up - Copper Tone Liner

European Cage: 3″ hand bent scrolls set the stage for a dramatic display.

Wrought iron options include our Arch Decora window boxes with crisscrossed bars that create a sophisticated look. For a bolder appearance, examine our European Window Box Cages. These cages are hand made from wrought iron. Arrange a series of 8-inch flower pots for a custom floral display.

Wood Window Box Planters

For those wanting a more natural look, you can use planter boxes constructed from wood. Redwood and cedar are naturally resistant to bugs, insects, and rotting. This makes them suitable for year-round outdoor use. They provide an organic, eco-friendly appearance that will look great with ranch, Pueblo, cottage, and bungalow style homes.  

Raised Panel Wood Window Box Painted White

There’s really nothing like the classic beauty of white wood window boxes!

Browse our handcrafted wood window boxes to bring more rustic charm to your home. 

Everything You Need to Transform the Exterior of Your Home

At Hooks and Lattice, we have everything that you need to give your home a makeover. In addition to window boxes, you can shop for exterior shutters or browse our great selection of faux balconies and iron accents – allowing you to instantly increase the curb appeal of your home.

Donatello Iron Window Grill Exterior Accent

Donatello Iron Window Grill Exterior Accent

Choosing the Right Hardware for Mounting Your Planters

Depending on the surface where you will mount your planter, you may need specific hardware. For installing planters along a brick exterior, purchase our 4-pack of mounting bolts. With deck railing brackets, you can install your planter along your deck, patio, or balcony railings.

Carolina Hayrack Trough Railing Planters

Carolina Hayrack Trough Railing Planters mounted using our metal brackets.

Start browsing window box designs and styles today or call 800.896.0978 to speak with a representative about custom sizing options or for help selecting the right hardware.

Easy to Use Window Planter Box Buying Guide Available!

Hopefully, these window box ideas will give you some inspiration. Keep these suggestions in mind as you begin exploring various Hooks and Lattice window box ideas. For additional tips on selecting the right window boxes, you should check out our easy Window Box Buying Guide.

There is a lot to consider when choosing window box planters. In addition to deciding between fiberglass, wrought iron, and wood planter boxes, you will need to consider the size of the planter and installation options. All of these details are explored in the Hooks and Lattice Window Box Buying Guide. Just follow the link provided for even more useful window box tips and ideas for choosing the perfect one for you.

If you would like to find additional styling ideas, please call 800.896.0978 to speak with a design expert today.

How To Care for Hanging Baskets

How to Care for Blossoming Hanging Baskets Year-Round

Considered a staple for moms and gardeners, hanging baskets have become to go-to for on-the-go flower-lovers who want to add a little color and curb appeal to their interior and exterior home décor. There are hundreds of hanging planters that you can purchase at major depots, but for gardeners, the real fun can be transplanting their own flowers into thriving hanging baskets of their own creation.

In this article, we will offer you tips on how to care for and maintain your selection of hanging flower baskets, as well as information about different liners and helpful self-watering reservoirs.

The Perfect Hanging Basket for You

When perusing hanging baskets, you will find that there is an abundance of unique hanging flower planters to choose from. There are ones with French wire scrolling, ones that have been handcrafted from beautiful bronze or gold Greek brackets, ones that have been molded from hard moss…and hundreds of other options.

Moss hanging basket

 

The trickiest part will be finding the perfect one for you – one that matches the personality of your home, and yourself, while giving you the opportunity to build a flourishing, gorgeous bunch of your favorite flowers. Our advice? Go with what you love at first sight. This is one of those follow your heart moments that will come in handy because your first instinct is to pick the hanging flower planter that you will cherish the most.

Finding a Liner that Works Best

As many hanging baskets as there are, there are almost twice as many hanging basket liner options. We prefer the all-natural route of coconut coir liners, made from an organic concoction of coconut fibers and tree sap.

Coco liners in hanging baskets

Coconut coir liners are strong, yet fibrous, allowing roots from your flowers to grow deep, providing the best circulation of air to nourish and nurture your plants. They are accommodating to a variety of hanging flower planter sizes and shapes, and each liner retains moisture for days after regular watering.

Self-Watering Reservoirs for Hanging Basket Maintenance

Hanging basket maintenance is more than just finding the perfect coconut coir liner, or snagging the best hanging flower basket, a self-watering reservoir could make all the difference.

Self-watering reservoir in a hanging basket

For on-the-go gardeners, self-watering reservoirs will keep your soil moist when you don’t have the time to nourish your hanging basket plants. You simply fill up the fill tubes with water and leave it be for a few days. A 6-inch single self-watering reservoir can maintain an 18-inch hanging flower basket for up to 3 days at a time.

Caring for the blossoms that are blooming in hanging flower baskets requires time. Not as much as gardening vegetables, mind you, but there is definitely an art to growing beautiful flowers in mid-air.

 

 

Medallion Decora Railing Boxes with Terra Cotta liners.

Take Your Balcony to the Next Level with a Decora Window Box

Medallion Decora Railing Boxes with Terra Cotta liners.

Medallion Decora Railing Boxes with Terra Cotta liners. Photo: Julia Henriques

Del Mar Railing Flowerpot Holder for 8" Diameter Pots

Del Mar Railing Flowerpot Holder

Balcony gardens are some of the most unique and inspiring green refuges – but has your deck reached its full potential? You can make your deck stand out easily just by adding a few stylish planter boxes to your railings.

Right now, your herb garden looks alright. Your cilantro and basil are healthy and growing. Your lavender is in full bloom, but still, you feel like your garden lacks steam. A railing planter box could be the zest your balcony needs. HooksandLattice.com offers many decorative window boxes that can help spice up your yard and bring your deck to life.

Picking the Right Style for You

Deck rail brackets attach to the back of the cage easily.

Deck rail brackets attach to the back of the cage easily.

  • The Arch Decora Metal window box can add a sleek, modern look to your balcony. The design of this box is achieved with a wrought iron cage and a black galvanized metal liner inside. Add a splash of color to this box with some bright, vibrant plants and your balcony garden is sure to look amazing.
  • For a more refined, elegant look, you could add the Medallion Decora box to your railing. This box features an iron cage design with a medallion at the center, and a window box liner on the inside to really make the look of the cage pop.
  • The Real Copper Lined Del Mar box would give your container garden a lovely antique appearance when the patina process that occurs on certain types of copper takes over. The copper will appear weathered and old fashioned, helping you achieve a nice vintage look.
  • Consider adding the Del Mar Flower Pot Holder to your deck railings for a more simplified look, or to complement your railing planter boxes. This flower pot holder is eight inches in size and looks great paired with a brightly colored flower pot, like these painted Terra Cotta flower pots sold at HooksandLattice.com.

Hanging Your Containers
Each of these containers can be added to your garden without any damage occurring to your railings. HooksandLattice.com offers several choices of affordable deck rail brackets for use with Decora boxes, but these brackets can turn any container in stock into the perfect railing box. For wooden deck rails, you can choose rail brackets from sizes 2″ x 4″, 2″ x 6″, and 2″ x 8″ to hang your decorative container. A steel rail bracket is the best choice for wrought iron and metal railings.  The beauty of hanging a container from your railing instead of simply underneath a window is that you can use an industrial strength zip tie for added security to your railing. These inconspicuous cable ties are a must have for your container garden.

If these designs appeal to your eye but just don’t complete the idea you had in mind for your deck railing, you can always contact HooksandLattice.com for a custom-made window box planter just for you. Browse through the Decora Window Box section of HooksandLattice.com to find the best railing planters that will bring your deck to life!

White window boxes set the stage for begonias, violets and euphorbias.

The Votes Are In! The Winners of the 2014 Window Box Contest Are…

You’ve waited all year to find out who the winners of the Window Box Contest for 2014 are and we have them for you! After much deliberating and deciding who should be granted the best window boxes in America, we’ve finally come to a decision. Check out the winners below, then formulate your 2015 photo contest takeover.

1st Place for Window Box on a Rail: Coming to Life: A Deck’s Transformation by Janet Sheehan

The transformation from the beginning of the season to the height of the season is just miraculous! Janet did a wonderful job making her grey patio into something that is just as beautiful as the forest behind her patio fence. Putting six flower window boxes on top of the rail creates a living wall, if you will, of falling vines and blossoming flowers once fully grown. Great job!

Jan's scalloped wood window boxes make a big impact on her deck.

Jan’s scalloped wood window boxes make a big impact on her deck.

1st Place for Window Box on a Wall: Presidential Window Box Splendor by Kevin & Annette Klingel

We must say that this has to be one of the most well thought-out home improvement projects that we’ve had the pleasure to witness. Kevin and Annette updated their entire home from top to bottom and not forgetting about the middle, added ten black window boxes to their home, garage, and shed. Using black Presidential style window boxes that match their newly painted shutters and updated roof, they contrast perfectly against the light exterior of their home for a complete transformation.

The Klingels black window boxes and matching shutters are a curb appeal knockout!

The Klingels black window boxes and matching shutters are a curb appeal knockout!

1st Place for Most Creative Window Box: Winter Decor in Boxes on Garage Wall by Cathy Litrofsky

Cathy did a fantastic job getting creative with her living wall planters! Filling a vertical wall planter, which once had succulents in it for summer, she used winter evergreens for a festive holiday look and placed these three light blue planters on a large wall of her garage that doesn’t have a window, so she improvised and made her own accent living window.  Just as a window or piece of art, these vertical wall planters bring life to what was once a boring wall.

Show Winter who's boss -  Add evergreens and pine cones for a festive display.

Show Winter who’s boss – Add evergreens and pine cones for a festive display.

The People’s Choice Award: Summer on Flora St. by Julie DeMarco LaPorta

These window box planters were definitely a favorite among everyone. With large blossoms of Violets, Begonias, and Diamond Frost Euphorbias, these window boxes are definitely the center of attention on Julie’s street which just so happens to be Flora St. As that may be a coincidence, it is not by coincidence that these window boxes won the People’s Choice as these window boxes were without a doubt, the most plentiful and beautiful.

White window boxes set the stage for begonias, violets and euphorbias.

White window boxes set the stage for begonias, violets and euphorbias.

Now that you’ve seen just how beautiful the best window boxes in America can be, it’s time to make a plan for 2015. Even if it’s cold outside, you can get started now on a window garden that can win you awesome prizes, gift cards, and special promotions from Hooks & Lattice. This year’s winners have already started their shopping sprees, entering is easy.

Here’s what to do:

  • Grab an empty planter, or shop window boxes online to select your container
  • Take a break from Facebook and plan your plantings prior to delivery
  • After the thaw, insert plantings and snap a few photos
  • You can upload your entries to the site. Click Here to go to the 2015 Window Box Contest

After you entered and your post is featured, the more you share and tell your friends the more likely you are to win. This contest doesn’t just reward amazingly beautiful window boxes – it rewards gardening socialites! So enter away or simply contact us with questions or for assistance choosing the best window box planter for you.

Sales@HooksandLattice.com | 1-800-896-0978 toll-free

Metal Window Boxes on Bavarian Style House

Planting Spring Flowers for Wonderful Window Boxes

With spring right around the corner, it’s time to look past the dreary days of winter and towards the colorful days of spring flower gardens. Spring is a great time to grow a variety of plants, especially in window boxes. Instead of worrying about plants being eaten by roaming animals or destroyed by fierce storms, you can keep them close and secure and enjoy them right outside your window. Window boxes are a fantastic way to spruce up your curb appeal and add a garden oasis in a small space. No matter your climate or style, here are some window box ideas.

The general rule of thumb for planting a window box is to have plants at all different heights. Start with taller “thriller” plants in the back, them plant mid-sized “fillers” in the middle and hanging or low “spillers” in the front for a complete look. Search for flowers that fit these categories for a stunning flower box planter.

Metal Window Boxes on Bavarian Style House

Arch Cage Wrought Iron Window Boxes on Bavarian Style House

Cool Climates

Before deciding what flowers to plant, look up your area’s U.S. Department of Agriculture zone number. These numbers correspond with different plants to make sure you get plants that will survive and thrive in your climate. For cooler areas with zones 1-5, stick with hardy plants like pansies, primroses, and violas as your mid-size “fillers”. Crocuses are hardy flowers with beautiful purple flowers that make a great filler addition to a window box. Add height to your window box with grape hyacinth or sweet pea and use spiller plants like alyssum to hang over the window box. A sturdier window box like this lined option will keep your plants warm and safe.

Warmer Climates

Gardeners in warmer climates tend to have a few more options when it comes to spring window box flowers. Classic flowers like daffodils and snapdragons make great tall thrillers, while bright dwarf irises, petunias, and verbena work well for the mid-level fillers. Anemones have stunning white flowers and do best in mild to warmer climates for an unexpected burst of white. Use spillers like creeping phlox for a burst of color or dusty miller or sweet potato vine for a more neutral color scheme. Look for a window box that accentuates the colors of your spring flowers and the style of your home, such as this wrought iron cage or other stylish metal window planter options. Window boxes look great in every style of home or garden.

What are you planting this year? Leave your ideas in the comments below!

The sulfur compounds in garlic make it a tasty ingredient and great way to lower your blood pressure.

Growing Garlic in Containers

There aren’t many scents more delicious than garlic-laden food simmering in your kitchen. This bulbous plant is used around the world as a seasonings and condiment. Its popularity has made it a staple in modern grocery stores and specialty markets.

Still, store-bought garlic can’t compare to fresh garlic grown right in your own home. Garlic is a very hardy plant that can even be grown in the winter, so you and your family can enjoy its savory goodness all year long. Growing garlic is similar to cooking with garlic, because both beginning chefs and seasoned cooks can excel at it. And here’s the best part: when you’re growing garlic in containers, no garden is necessary.

The Best Containers for Growing Garlic

No matter what container your select, make sure that it can withstand long exposure to sunlight. Here are two that are perfectly suited for the task.

Tinley ceramic planters. Designed with a tree-bark texture, these planter pots come in black, white, or brown. They are 13″ in both diameter and height, so they’re compact enough for any area of your kitchen, windowsill, or patio.

– Vertical garden with containers. This multi-use product can be used to grow garlic or virtually any herb or seasoning you could imagine. The tough fir frame holds 16 small terra cotta pots that are as cute as they are functional.

The sulfur compounds in garlic make it a tasty ingredient and great way to lower your blood pressure.

The sulfur compounds in garlic make it a tasty ingredient and great way to lower your blood pressure.

How to Grow Garlic

If you’re not sure about what variety of garlic to plant, DigginFood has some great tips about selecting local garlic varieties.

Step 1: Choose a high-quality potting soil. Garlic is known to develop root fungus when grown in subpar soil. Fill your container with your soil, leaving approximately two inches of space at the top.

Step 2: Select the largest cloves and break them apart. Make sure not to break the paper-like wrapper that encases each clove. Plant them 3″ deep within the soil, and 5″ apart from each other. Fill each hole back up with soil, leaving 1″ between the tip of the clove and the surface.

Step 3: Gather straw or bamboo. During cold months, cover your garlic with these materials to keep them warm. Remove them immediately when the weather heats back up.

Step 4: Wait for your garlic to grow. Keep the soil moist at all times. Begin fertilizing it every three weeks with a liquid fertilizer.

Step 5: Harvest. When the bottom third of the leaves have yellowed, it’s time to pick your garlic!

There is an endless amount of recipes you can prepare with garlic. From sauces to meat, your home-grown garlic is sure to be a hit with your family, friends, and guests.

 

Photo: EcoLibrary

Railing Window Boxes on a Brownstone in New York City

Drip Irrigation for Window Boxes

Irrigation Through the Ages

When it came to irrigation, the farmers of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Rome had geography on their side. Civilizations have always sprung up around large bodies of fresh water because of the fertile farmland they produce.

Today’s farmers have invested their resources into modern, high-tech irrigation systems that provide hydration to crops being grown across plains, mountains, and even deserts. Urban farmers aren’t lucky enough to have access to large tracts of land, or proximity to the undisturbed freshwater lakes and rivers that make irrigation simpler for traditional farmers.

The Benefits of Drip Irrigation

Growing fruits, vegetables and flowers in your window box can feel like a daunting task if you haven’t done this before. Window box planters are made from artificial containers that don’t allow for proper water drainage. Hot climates, especially in cities, make shallow soil dry out faster. This is especially true when your window box is exposed to direct sunlight.

Railing Window Boxes on a Brownstone in New York City

Drip irrigation has revolutionized urban farming
 The balcony drip kits listed below are perfect for beginners and seasoned farmers alike.

The solution? Look no further than drip irrigation. This form of irrigation allows water to slowly drip into the roots of your plants. Water application efficiency becomes very high, and your foliage itself can remain dry. Below are three of the top drip irrigation systems for flower boxes on the market.

  • Balcony drip kit with variable timer. This is an excellent irrigation choice for urban farmers who grow in a variety of different containers in the same vicinity. The circuit system can be set up to water window box planters, flower pots, and hanging baskets all at once. Once turned on, this drip kit exudes a water pressure of an even 14.5 ps, perfect for urban gardeners who strive to conserve water.
  • Oasis self watering kit. Are you worried that your urban garden may require numerous drip irrigation systems? If you have less than 20 plants, don’t fret. This kit operates on one 9V battery and is ideal for balcony, patio, or small-scale gardening in city plots with other farmers.
  • Basic drip kit. If you’re not in need of a timer, then you may want to consider this simpler version of the balcony drip kit. The amount of water dispersed throughout each planet can still be calibrated – you can choose for plants to receive between 0 to 1.59 gallons of water per hour.

All of these drip kits come with instructions for urban farmers who may be setting up drip irrigation systems for the very first time. As with all irrigation techniques, make sure to calibrate each planter box according to the specific watering needs of each plant.