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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 […]

Make Your 2016 Garden the Best Yet with Hooks and Lattice Window Boxes, Planters and Hanging Baskets

White Window Boxes – A Clean Slate for the New Year

When winter is at its coldest and grayest, you can find yourself looking at your house and giving a wistful sigh as you think about how you’d love to do something to spruce it up. Sadly, you have to wait for spring to arrive to get to work on improving your home’s curb appeal, right?

Wrong!

While some improvements should be held off until spring has fully sprung, you can take steps to enhance the appearance of your exterior before winter is done. White window boxes are a great way to add to a home’s curb appeal mid-winter. Read on to learn more about adding a flower box during the cold months of the year and to discover some stylish, easy winter window box ideas.

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Medallion Window Box or Liner

Introducing an exclusive

Hooks & Lattice product:

The Medallion Window Box or Liner!

Window boxes are getting more popular by the day and for good reason! They are the perfect solution for adding a sufficient amount of curb appeal to your home with minimal effort. What makes this window box so unique from the rest is that it is made of the highest quality rolled rimed PVC to bring it great stability so it can be hung and used multiple ways.

This is the Medallion plastic window box/liner. This versatile window box isn’t the typical plastic “window box” you can buy at the local hardware store.  Made from one of the most durable plastic, this PVC flower box is strong enough to be a window box liner as well as a standalone window box. And with the strength of PVC you also will get its resistance to fading so you can trust the color will be the same this summer and summers to come! The Medallion window box or liner also features a removable drainage tray so you don’t have to worry about water overflowing. Below are just a couple of the many ways you can incorporate this lovely window box into your homes’ decor.

 

Install it by itself directly to a wall, under a window, or on a rail

Hang the Medallion window box on its own for a more simplistic look.

Hang the Medallion window box on its own for a more simplistic look.

 

Use as a window box liner inside a decora style window cage

Put multiple Medallion window boxes in a window cage to make an interchangeable curb appeal solution.

Put multiple Medallion window boxes in a window cage to make an interchangeable curb appeal solution.

Install it on a wall as a flower window box

With brackets, you can put your Medallion window box almost anywhere!

With brackets, you can put your Medallion window box almost anywhere!

Use it as a deck rail window box with simple deck rail brackets

Medallion window box on a porch rail brings beautiful curb appeal to this home.

Transform a window box into a deck rail window box and add beautiful summer flowers!

 

Line the perimeter of your patio or balcony

Use the Medallion Window Box on your balcony wall.

Use the Medallion Window Box on your balcony wall. Shop here!

The Medallion window box is the perfect container gardening solution for the curb appeal enthusiast or gardener on a budget. If your one of the many that either rent or have little to no outdoor space, this multi-functional window box is the perfect fit for you!

Shop the Medallion Window Boxes and all it’s hanging brackets HERE

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

Use window planter reservoirs for container gardening success.

2015’s Top 6 Gardening Resolutions and Trends

It’s that time of year again, the time for making resolutions. Whether your resolutions are to get to the gym more, go to sleep earlier, or save more money, we’ve complied a couple resolutions that will still fall in line with the classic ones and a couple that that will be trending in the New Year.

Here are 2015’s Top 6 Gardening Resolutions & Trends:

  1. Get outside more. Take a walk around your building at lunch, walk around the block with your family after dinner, or do a little spring prep in the garden to ensure for a prosperous garden come springtime. Try container gardening if you’re in a region of the country where it’s just too cold to be outside right now. Window boxes with a cleat hanging system make perfect containers for small space gardening. Plant whatever your heart desires (keep in mind the small space), keep the box inside until it’s warmer outside, and then hang it below your window once it’s warm enough outside. Click Here to find out When and How to Start Seeds Indoors.
Egg carton and egg shells with young plants

Do-it-yourself seed starting in eggshells! Image from Hew and Sew.

  1. Use new gardening tools. If you’re an avid gardener or you’re just starting out, gardening tools are you best friends. Start off the New Year with new gardening tools. They’ll be all clean and shiny and you’ll want to get in the garden and yard ASAP to break them in. This is also a great time of year to order your garden trellises so they’re ready to use when you buy plants in the Spring.
Sign up for our email list and we'll deliver can-do curb appeal tips right to your inbox!

Sign up for our email list and we’ll deliver can-do curb appeal tips right to your inbox!

  1. Improve your home’s curb appeal. This is a biggie. You’re lucky if this can be accomplished in one afternoon, but for the rest of you, this will be an ongoing but incredibly rewarding project! All it takes is some motivation (like seeing a gorgeous house on Pinterest), dedication, and a plan. You can improve your home’s curb appeal by simply mowing the grass, trimming the grass along the sidewalk, and pruning bushes and trees. But if you really want to differentiate your home from all the other houses on the block, think about installing exterior window shutters, window boxes, or flanking your front door with planters with tall topiaries. Click Here to meet Sage, she’s our curb appeal expert. Follow us on YouTube and we’ll let you know when she has her next curb appeal tips video!

  1. Try new plants. This may seem daunting as you are probably very comfortable in your current flower/plant situation. But isn’t that was the New Year is all about, trying something different? Add a more colorful arrangement of flowers to your planters, mix it up with different heights and densities of plants, and plant some veggies that you’d like to cook up later to go along with the next resolution.
"A Cheerful Hello" - WindowBoxContest.com Entry

“A Cheerful Hello” – WindowBoxContest.com Entry

  1. Eat healthier. This one can be a little difficult for those of you that work from sun up to sun down but there are small and also very affordable ways you can make small changes that will make a huge difference later. You can grow your own herbs in your kitchen. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love fresh basil and mint? With container gardening, you can even grow mushrooms, tomatoes, and micro greens right on your countertop. Click Here to view seed starters and tabletop grow boxes.
This should spice things up!

This should spice things up!

  1. Save more money. Isn’t this something everyone strives for in the New Year? You can accomplish this multiple ways this year. Save money on your water bill by using planter reservoirs in your pots and hanging baskets so you never need to worry about over or under watering your plants. You can also save money on your water bill by planting drought-tolerant plants that naturally require less water. Dramatically reduce your grocery expenses by growing your own herbs, veggies, tomatoes, and lettuce. You can even plan ahead and start growing your own lemon tree for delicious citrus in the coming years! Click Here to view planter reservoirs.
    Use window planter reservoirs for container gardening success.

    Use window planter reservoirs for container gardening success.

    You can shop all of these great gardening solutions at www.HooksandLattice.com, or simply pick up the phone and call us for guidance: 1-800-896-0978.

 

Hooks & Lattice Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Top Ten Gardening Gifts for Christmas 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

 

Hello, holidays! ‘Tis the season to discover wonderful and unique holiday gift ideas for family, friends and Secret Santa trades. Check out these home and garden decorations to delight a range of loved ones and colleagues on your shopping list this year.

This set of mini garden statues fit gardens of any size.

This set of mini garden statues fit gardens of any size.

1. Gorgeous Garden Statues 

Price range: $30-$70

These pretty little toadstools make great gardening gifts all-around. Whether planting in small containers or a large back yard, statuettes lend an element of surprise to botanical arrangements. In addition to bright, whimsical colors our selection also features metallic styles like pewter statues for more minimalist gardeners.

 

Glittering with fresh 'snow' this live pine wreath welcomes everyone warmly.

Glittering with fresh ‘snow’ this live pine wreath welcomes everyone warmly.

 


2. “Whispering Winds” Winter Wreath

Price range: $50-$60 with shipping

Delicate snowflakes, noble fir sprigs and silvery frosted accents – it doesn’t get more wonderfully wintery than that! This living evergreen wreath makes an elegant front door hanger for the holidays. Great for party hosts, office gift trades and next-door neighbors.

 

Fun and unique for the gardener who has everything.

Fun and unique for the gardener who has everything.


3.Decorative Moss Obelisk 

Price range: Starting at $46

Although these garden decorations are not officially holiday-themed, they certainly feel seasonal. Each cheerful wire obelisk is embellished with lifelike moss-mat material. Gift recipients will love them for front steps or the holiday hearth. Available in three sizes.

A complete DIY kit for indoor gardeners.

A complete DIY kit for indoor gardeners.

 

4. Hanging Teardrop Terrarium Kit

Price range: $25 + shipping

Whisk life and color into someone’s wintertime decor this season. Terrarium kits are among those unique holiday gift ideas with a “green” spirit. And anyone can assemble and enjoy with this easy all-in-one package – kids and growing-novices included!

 

Fun and modern, terrariums fit in windowsills and on desktops for a pop of color.

Fun and modern, terrariums fit in windowsills and on desktops for a pop of color.

 

5. Bottle Terrarium Kit for Tabletops

Price range: $39 + shipping

Just a touch more advanced than our #4 gardening gift suggestion, this tabletop terrarium kit lets indoor growers start from seed. Again, we love this as a Christmas gift idea for eco-inclined youngsters. Terrariums also make memorable ideas for holiday gift exchanges with a $50 spending limit.

 

Rolls come in 4, 8, 16 and 33 foot lengths.

Lengths: 4, 8, 16 and 33-foot

 

6. Coconut Coir Liner Rolls

Price range: $25 and up

This may not seem like the most exciting of garden gifts, but we guarantee container growers who use coco husk will love you for it! Want to spruce up the presentation? Add fun wrapping paper and tie springtime seeds onto the roll with a festive bow.

 

Urban dwellers love these modern hanging planters.

Urban dwellers love these modern hanging planters.

 

7. Lunar Hanging Bowl Planter

Price range: $24 and up

Know someone with an eye for modern details? This indoor hanging basket is oh-so sleek and stunning. Potted with simple green grasses and herbs, it’s the ultimate addition to minimal-chic home decor. Also available in sphere and oblong shapes for a modern mix-and-match.

 

This should spice things up!

This should spice things up!

 

8. Hot Pepper “Foodie” Growing Kit

Price range: $22 + shipping

Help friends and family heat up cold winter nights with some spicy, homegrown peppers. Ideal for lovers of cuisine or as a creative $25 gift exchange idea. All materials and instructions included. Foodie Seed Kits also come in tomato and basil varieties.

 

Eco-conscious giving never looked so stylish!

Eco-conscious giving never looked so stylish!


9. Lavender Seed Kit and Bamboo Planter

Price range: $20 + shipping

Looking for Secret Santa ideas in the $25 range? Tap into the appeal of lovely lavender for your lucky recipient. This handy growing kit is made in the USA and totally eco-friendly. Great for windowsills and work desks. Not into purple? Check out green herb alternatives like mint and parsley.

 

A green & recycled gift for small space gardening.

A green & recycled gift for small space gardening.

10. Basil Seeds & Recycled Bottle Planter Kit

Price range: $40-$45 with shipping

Calling this the ultimate “green” Christmas gift isn’t a stretch. A re-purposed wine bottle turned into eco-friendly growing space? Um, yes please! Add some basil seeds to the equation and you’ve got a delectable pesto-producing plot that doubles as attractive home decor. A no-brainer for anyone on your holiday shopping list. Check out more ideas like this one here.

 

For more unique, garden-centric holiday gift ideas be sure to visit us at http://www.hooksandlattice.com and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.

Group containers filled with colorful perennials to maximize seasonal decor.

Best Containers for Perennial Success

Group containers filled with colorful perennials to maximize seasonal decor.

Group containers filled with colorful perennials to maximize seasonal decor.

Best Containers for Perennial Success

If you want the beauty of fresh plants without the trouble of planting new seeds and starters each year, perennials are the way to go. These plants come in a huge variety of options and keep growing, year after year. Perennials are perfect plants for containers, but choosing the right planter is key to perennial container gardening success. Here are a few things to look for:

Size

Perennials tend to have larger root systems than annuals, so size is a very important factor in determining container gardening success. Larger pots also give perennials room to “overwinter”, or last multiple seasons, because the larger amount of soil and roots protects the plants from freezing conditions. Pay close attention to plant tags when choosing your perennials. Consider how big the plant will be at its fullest, and pay special attention to planting depth. For plants that don’t require as much root room, a shorter container such as this Lattice Premier Planter will work. If you are planting larger perennials that need room to grow, opt for something like the Laguna Premier Planter.

Drainage

Pick a container for perennials that has at least one hole for drainage so the roots get some air circulation and don’t rot. More holes can be better for some plants, but don’t pick a container with too many holes or the plant will lose all nutrition from the water. The material can also play a big role in how a container holds water. Plastic containers are lightweight and tend to hold moisture well. Clay pots can be more attractive but may not hold water as long if they aren’t glazed or sealed. A good alternative is an imitation or composite resin pot, like these Eloquence Tall Resin Planters, that are lightweight and hold water well.

Style

Perennial flowers containers should compliment the style of your home and the flowers in the pot. Consider the look you are going for; if it is a sleek, modern look opt for a container like the Devondale Round Planter. A more traditional style garden would work well in a container like the Fieldfare Planter. Perennials do well mixed together in large containers or separately. A grouping of small containers like the Glendon Tapered Round Planters is a trendy and stylish option to showcase plants in a way that can be rearranged and moved. Remember than perennials in containers can thrive for years, so pick a container you will be happy with for years to come.

The good thing about perennials is that they are generally hardy plants. If you feel overwhelmed trying to find the perfect container for perennials, experiment a bit until you find one that fits your needs. You plants can always be moved from one to another. For more information and resources on perennials, visit the Perennial Plant Association. Soon you will be on your way to a beautiful container garden year after year.

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

Make your victory garden even more patriotic by lining beds with American flags.

American Victory Gardens – A Brief History of Food and Freedom

Starting a garden is a fitting way to show your patriotism this Fourth of July. That’s right, fresh grown veggies and fruits are the very reason Cobb Salads and apple pies are so American. And, it just so happens, planting food for freedom is part of our nation’s history.

Victory, Garden Style

During the first half of the twentieth century, as our nation was entangled in World Wars I and II, growing fruits, vegetables and herbs was actually a part of the war effort. These civilian contributions came to be known as Victory Gardens.

By producing food locally, communities were able to subsist on their own harvests while easing demand on the national food supply. Plots ranged from small raised bed gardening on urban rooftops, to large suburban yards and rural fields. According to The National WWII Museum archives, at the height of the Victory Garden during World War II, there were more than 20 million individual plots operating across the USA. Now that’s what we call patriotic produce!

Make your victory garden even more patriotic by lining beds with American flags.

Make your victory garden even more patriotic by lining beds with American flags.

Local Food Fuels Freedom

While container and vegetable gardening obviously did not win the war outright, communities banding together for the common good rightly demonstrates the American Way. While soldiers sacrificed to fight battles thousands of miles away, their families were at home helping to free up food supplies needed overseas while boosting civilian morale.

In peacetime, the same idea of better living and stronger communities rings true. Things have changed a lot since the Victory Gardens of WWII, but the lingering sentiment is just as relevant today. When we have access to our food source and understand its workings, Americans emerge empowered.

Present Day Victory Gardens

Today, nearly 70 years since the Second World War ended, the United States has undergone rapid changes in the way our food is produced, packaged and sold. While supply shortages are no longer a concern as a direct result of war, our country faces new struggles tied to sustenance. As evidenced by childhood and adolescent obesity rates that loom higher than ever (see: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), many Americans have gone astray when it comes to basic nutrition. When did we lose touch with what we put on our meal table?

Many claim the reason behind this quandary is simple: Limited knowledge of or connection to our food sources. Detachment leads to choices based on what is available and affordable, even if that means frozen and processed goods with little to no real nutrition. But what if we could change all that and put American communities back in touch with agriculture and the food they eat?

Several community-based and grassroots movements are aiming to do just that. The Victory Garden Initiative is one such effort, citing in their mission statement that, “When everyone is a farmer, we will have a socially and environmentally just food system.” Kind of like farming for freedom.

Food For Thought this 4th of July

Working to ensure there is fresh and wholesome meals on the table at breakfast, lunch and dinner is about as American as it gets. And on no day is this more apparent than July 4th. This summer, though, rather than relying fully on big box stores for mealtime ingredients, show your local farmers a little love. Or, better yet, grow your own!

To get started on a small scale, raised bed gardening in cedar or redwood is a great way to go. It works anywhere, from the back yard to a downtown rooftop. Also, check out some tips tied to the modern-day Victory Garden, courtesy of the aptly named PBS program.

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.

Light

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.