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. | 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.

See how the color pops? The flowers are bright, and the window box (Arch Decora Shown) is an architectural element all on its own!

Lucky 7 Decorative Planter Liners

Wrought iron window boxes and decorative planter liners add instant curb appeal to any home. Imagine the front of your home as it is. Maybe it’s a little plain, or maybe you have some nice landscaping in the yard. Now imagine splashes of pink, yellow, orange and blue spilling out of planters hung under the windows of your home.

Now that you have pictured the final product, it’s time to get down to details. offers a variety of window box liners that are sure to meet your needs.

See how the color pops? The flowers are bright, and the window box (Arch Decora Shown) is an architectural element all on its own!

See how the color pops? The flowers are bright, and the window box (Arch Decora Shown) is an architectural element all on its own!

Many of our customers choose to purchase our metal window box liners because of their versatility. Something like a galvanized window box with oil rubbed bronze finish is the perfect example. This elegant, yet simple window box is well suited for a number of uses. Many customers use this as a planter insert, for example, placing it inside a wrought iron window box cage. This style of planter insert is also capable of being used as is topping deck railings, hanging from railings using supports or of course hung under a window.

If the smooth finish is not to your taste but you love the bronze color, consider a textured bronze galvanized decorative plant liner. This rust resistant window box has a hammered finish giving it loads of character. With a variety of sizes available online, you are sure to find a product to fit your project.

Of course bronze finishes are not the only option you have when shopping for metal window box liners. Another classic choice of top shelf materials for outdoor applications is copper. A real copper window box is unique in the fact that it will change over time. Starting out the same color as a shiny new penny, this precious metal planter ages with dignity. It gains a sophisticated green patina over the years, depending on use and the weather it’s exposed to.

Like modern design? This sleek black window box makes the yellow and orange tones pop!

Like modern design? This sleek black window box insert makes the yellow and orange tones pop!

These bronze finished and real copper window box liners are great for adding a classic look to any home. If you are after a more modern look something like the Galvanized Black Metal outdoor planter gives you just the style you are after. Aside from looking great, this planter insert is of the highest quality construction. Formed of galvanized sheet metal and then powder coated to prevent rust, you will be enjoying this window box for years to come.

As you can see, makes a point to offer a variety of products to suit the tastes and needs of our customers. For our full line of window boxes, planters, and other home and garden accessories be sure to visit our website. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please call us at 1-800-896-0978 to discuss building custom planters.

Seedlings Sprouting

Growing Herbs in Containers: Light, Life Cycles and Planting

There’s nothing quite like fresh herbs. Instead of making a run to the store when a recipe calls for some extra zing, what if you could just head to your herb garden to get that fresh rosemary, basil, or mint? Growing herbs in containers is a simple project that can yield big rewards. Below are a few things to consider before planting your herb containers:

You can sprout seedlings in just about anything. Invest in long-term solutions for best success growing herbs in containers.

You can sprout seedlings in just about anything.
Invest in long-term solutions for best success growing herbs in containers.


Herbs require strong light to grow, which can be a problem if you’re trying to harvest chives during the short, dark days of winter. The best herbs to grow can be planted in indoor containers. Planting in herb containers, either indoors or outdoors, allows for the pots to be moved around according to the sun. If you plant an herb that needs less sun, like parsley, simply move it out of the sun in the middle of the day. On the flipside, you can move a sun-loving herb around your yard or house for optimal growth. The Glendon Tapered Round Planter can be used indoors or outdoors, allowing you to give your herbs the light they need.

Life Cycles

A good understanding of plant lifecycle helps when growing herbs. Allowing your herbs to go to seed and turn into flowers signals that their lifecycle is about to end. The best thing to do is to harvest your herbs frequently. Luckily, with something as delicious as fresh herbs, you will most likely be plucking it often. If you see a flower forming, just pinch it off to keep your herbs happy, healthy, and productive. A good herb container for keeping an eye on your plants is the Tinley Ceramic Low Bowl Planter, which has a short profile so your herbs and their progress are always in view.

Planting Herbs

A successful herb garden starts right from the beginning with strategic planting. You may be tempted to cram lots of herbs into the herb container, but make sure to read the plant tag carefully and allow enough room for the fully grown herb – overcrowding can stop plants from expanding their root system and be harmful in the cold winter months. The best herbs to grow will easily fit into your pot now and when they are full size. A good option for an herb container that allows room for plenty of plants is the Danbury Round Planter, which has a wide diameter for plenty of planting room.

With a little research and a little planning, a container herb garden will be spicing up your kitchen in no time! For best results, shop smaller containers that fit on countertops or tables.

Flower Box Holders for Railings

We all know that flower boxes are a great way to add life and color to any home. No matter how dull the walls might look, window boxes will add an element of cheerfulness and freshness to the image, significantly improving your home’s appeal. Moreover, you can also increase your house’s curb appeal by placing window boxes on railings, thus embellishing stairways, balconies or terraces.

This is done with the help of flower box holders which, as the name suggests, allow you to attach your flower box to railing and support the weight of the planters. There are different kinds of holders, and they differ in terms of size, design and, most importantly, the type of the railing they are compatible with and the way in which they attach themselves to the railing.

Wrought iron railing brackets suspend a beautifully planted Fiberglass Supreme window box.

Wrought iron railing brackets suspend a beautifully planted Fiberglass Supreme window box.

Holders for wood railings

Railing brackets for wood decks allow you to attach planters securely without having to drill any holes in the material. This is very practical, as it allows you to rearrange planters whenever you feel like making a décor change, without worrying about any unaesthetic holes. These planters use either adjustable railing hooks which allow them to fit on railings of different width, or a clamp system that utilizes an adjustable screw so that it can be attached to any wooden railings, regardless of their thickness.

Holders for wrought iron railings

Many homes use wrought iron railings, which require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan than their wooden counterparts. Rail planters are attached to the deck through brackets similar to the ones for wooden railings. You can choose either adjustable deck railings or metal brackets for your specific rail width.

You can find a great diversity of models of metal brackets for your specific needs. Make sure that you know the measurements of the window box you want to mount on the specific railing, as some types of holders are compatible with window boxes up to a certain width and/or length. And, if you are not opting for an adjustable holder, don’t forget to measure accurately the width of your railing before placing your order. Click Here to contact us for consultation.

All holders on the market are coated with a special finish which makes them impervious to water and humidity, and thus less prone to rust.  This ensures a long life expectancy of these products, making them a cost-efficient purchase which can help you add to the curb appeal of your home for many years to come.

A flower box beneath a window with shutters

What Size Window Boxes Should You Use?

A home with several window boxes

A good rule of thumb: Match the width of the flower box to the width of the window. Use smaller flower boxes on smaller windows, and larger ones on larger windows.

Matching the right window box to your home can add curb appeal, but there are many things to consider before making a final decision. What materials should the box be made of? How big should the box be? What size and depth is best for the plants that you want to pair with your home?

A flower box beneath a window with shutters

For windows with shutters, consider using a flower box wider than the window.


Window Box Length Tips

Once you’ve settled on a flower box material and style, deciding how long your new window boxes should be is the next big decision. In general, window boxes look best if they are the same width as the window, but there are exceptions to the rule. For example, if your home has shutters or wide exterior trim pieces, you may want your window boxes to run under these architectural features or sit slightly inside. Since many windows are around three feet long, almost every window box style is available in 30″ and 36″ lengths.

When placing a window box on a deck or porch railing, it should fill the space without making the railing unusable. Leave several inches between the end of the window box and any steps so that your growing plants don’t make these spaces unsafe. Use a cardboard cut-out or chalk outline to help yourself visualize the perfect window box for your space if you’re unsure of the right size.

an eight foot long window box under a window

This 96″ long window box was custom made for a homeowner who wanted something impressive! Very long flower boxes look stately.

For a very long window, railing, or fence, you can either mount several small window boxes or one large one. Most Hooks & Lattice window boxes can be purchased in 60″ and 72″ lengths, and many can be manufactured in even larger custom sizes. We’ve built flower boxes over 100″ inches long! Long window boxes look dramatic and impressive; just remember that you’ll probably need some serious help to lift and mount them.

An XL window box

This extra-wide, extra-deep window box has lots of room for plants and their roots.


Window Box Depth & Width

Window box suppliers like Hooks & Lattice usually offer our most popular boxes with standard dimensions and extra-large boxes that are wider and deeper than usual. Standard boxes are a good fit for many homes, but sometimes the extra-large flower boxes are more appropriate. Organic Gardening magazine recommends measuring the height of your windows before settling on a size. A box that is 20 to 25 percent of the height of your window feels adequately robust on most homes. If you choose very large brackets for your flower boxes, consider their visual impact in your decision as well.

Bigger boxes have a practical benefit: Because they hold more soil, they won’t dry out as quickly, and so they will allow you to plant less drought-tolerant plants. For this reason, we recommend that gardeners in hot climates use XL hayrack window boxes instead of hayrack planters in normal sizes. Deep flower boxes also work better for perennial plants, which tend to root more deeply than annuals. Extra-large boxes are more flexible to plant, even allowing multiple rows of small annuals if you want to create layers of colors.

This cedar flower box is just 6" deep, so your flowers will draw most of the attention.

This cedar flower box is just 6″ deep, so your flowers will draw most of the attention.

On the other hand, shallow boxes look nice on homes with delicate features, since the smaller box and brackets won’t overwhelm the home’s architectural details. Small window boxes won’t stand out in an obvious fashion, instead providing a subtle space for gardening. Our Tapered Cedar Window Box is just 6″ high, putting the spotlight on your plants. These smaller boxes are great for annuals, herbs and artificial plants. Because they hold less soil, they’ll weigh less, making them easier to lift and mount.

As with any décor decision, you should be aware of these design suggestions but ultimately choose whatever looks best to you. Don’t be afraid to defy convention! With some skill, almost anything can look great. Above all, window box gardening should be a fun and relaxing way to express your creativity. Experiment with different options and find the one that suits your style. Need flower box sizing advice? Comment below and we’ll let you know what we think!