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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!

Shown: Galvanized Metal Window Box/Liner with a custom artificial arrangement.

Give the Gift of Guaranteed Curb Appeal

Feeling that last minute holiday push? Time to break out the Hooks and Lattice Gift Cards for office parties, family gatherings and Christmas morning stocking stuffers. Online garden shopping sprees make the best gifts for mom, dad, a friend or neighbor. Anyone on your list known for always having a DIY project on tap! They’ll just love picking out their own home and garden goodies.

Shown: Galvanized Metal Window Box/Liner with a custom artificial arrangement.

Shown: Galvanized Metal Window Box/Liner with a custom artificial arrangement.

Holiday Gift Shopping to Fit Any Budget

Are you after the best gifts for dads, grandparents, siblings, friends and gift trades within a particular price range? Hooks and Lattice Gift Certificates hit any dollar requirement right on the nose. Even cater to those window boxes you know mom’s been dying to buy, but don’t trust yourself to pick out. Before shopping our e-gift cards online, here are a few ideas at different price points to help you choose the right amount:

Stocking Stuffers and Gifts Under $25

It may not seem like a whole lot, but a $25 Hooks and Lattice Gift Certificate has plenty to offer DIY tinkerers and small space dwellers. Even a little something for the kids.

Terrariums are all the rage right now for DIY-savvy home and office decorators.
For those shopping in the $25 and under range, there’s this set of 3 Rhapsody Ceramic Terrariums, as well as individual glass bubbles and teardrop terrariums. Great for sprucing up houses, apartments and even cubicles with modern plant decor.

Glass Terrarium Planters - Ceiling, wall mount and tabletop

Glass Terrarium Planters – Shop ceiling mount, wall mount and tabletop designs.

Fork & Spade Decorative Garden Stakes are a fun opportunity for growers at any level.
Stick them in planting containers or nestle into the ground, then enjoy filling terra cotta pots with small flowers, moss or herbs. Great for giving kids their own small space garden to tend.

Garden Gifts Under $50         

A $50 Garden Gift Certificate proves a nice round number for Secret Santa trades, bosses and neighbors. And at this slightly higher dollar amount, there’s plenty of charming choices in store.

Like easy, stylish DIY Living Wall Planters.
This square iron frame features nine individual planting cells spread across three rows. Great for first-timers and experienced vertical gardeners alike. This rectangular design with a moisture mat also comes in at under $50 and offers its own distinctive layout.

And elegant moss obelisks.
This set of three spiraling obelisks makes the ultimate year-round decoration, but one can also imagine them glowing in the light of bright Christmas bulbs. Joy to shopping with Hooks and Lattice E-Gift Cards!

Big Ticket Curb Appeal

Have some surplus bucks to spend on the extra-special gardeners in your life? The best gifts for mom and dad, brother and sister, or grandparents just might be a little help jump-starting those home improvement projects they’ve had on the shelf.

Shown: Arch Decora Window Box with Liner, Terracotta Sprouting Kit and Amaryllis Grow Box

Shown: Arch Decora Window Box with Liner, Terracotta Sprouting Kit and Amaryllis Grow Box

Window boxes to bring wintertime cheer.
Noticed your sister’s been pinning a ton of container garden arrangements on her Pinterest board lately? Take the not-so-subtle hint and surprise her with a $100 Garden Supply Gift Card to go toward the project! Many of our composite, fiberglass, wrought iron and aluminum window box styles fall within this price range, depending on size and quantity.

Exterior window shutters, galore!
Put them on their way to curb appeal renewal with a $250 Home and Garden Gift Card to go toward decorative window shutters. This generous dollar amount will provide a good head start on all of our most popular vinyl shutter styles including board-n-batten, louvered, raised panel and combination patterns.

Check out more holiday gift card ideas for Christmas 2014 – visit us at http://www.HooksAndLattice.com! We’re also on Facebook and Pinterest.

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

Introducing ‘Can Do’ Curb Appeal Ideas with Sage!

We all love that friend with the creative, easy curb appeal ideas. The DIY-savvy type who makes us say to ourselves, “I want to try that!” Wouldn’t it be great to have that type of thrifty pal at your beckon call?

Now you can.

It’s with pleasure that we introduce Sage – the newest member of the Hooks and Lattice community. Like our customers, she can’t get enough of a good home and garden project. From window shutters and flower boxes, to indoor terrariums and home decor, Sage has tried it all! And now she’s here to share her tips and tricks with you.

No project is perfect.

And that’s part of the fun! Because the only way to know which home and garden ideas will ultimately succeed is to try. With the right tools, products and tips, more curb appeal ideas can be transformed into gorgeous results. Sage is no stranger to the bumps that sometimes surface along the way. Take advantage of her knowhow to help make your DIY projects smoother and more enjoyable.

Really, it’s about sharing the curb appeal love.

At Hooks and Lattice, we’re passionate about all things home and garden. We want Sage and her “Can Do Curb Appeal” ideas to serve as a useful extension of this enthusiasm. Ultimately, it’s about a sense of community to improve communities. Because when a house is truly a home, people and families tend to be happier and healthier.

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!

Get in on all of Sage’s home and garden adventures.

Whether you’re looking for new ideas, help with an ongoing project, or just comparing notes, Sage is your collaborator. And she’s not afraid to offer her opinion! Her “Sage” advice also includes notes on what not to do, which is something every DIY’er can appreciate.

So, you ask, what can I expect? All sorts of goodies. In each “Can Do Curb Appeal” segment Sage will be working on a new project. And it could be anywhere! From small space balcony gardening, to projects out in the yard. She also has ideas for sprucing up interior design, growing plants indoors, and much, much more!

How can I find the latest curb appeal tips and tricks?

Let Sage come to you via your Facebook and Twitter feed, or check in with us on the Hooks and Lattice website and blog. Have an idea for what Sage’s next project should be? Give us a shout on social media or drop us an email at info@hooksandlattice.com. And don’t be shy! We love it when our customers share their curb appeal trials, triumphs and inspirations! It’s the reason we do what we do.

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.

Kids Gardening – How to Get Everyone Involved at Home

Forget the TV, smart phones, and other gadgets-this summer get your kids outdoors with fun garden activities for the whole family! Gardening is a fun project for kids and teaches them useful skills, all while they enjoy time outdoors with the family. Here are three easy garden projects to get your kids involved:

Terrarium

A terrarium is small enough that it is manageable for a child, and the great growth conditions ensure that nearly everything they plant will thrive. Terrariums are great year round, or if you live in a climate that makes outdoor gardening difficult. It also creates a conversation piece and allows your child to show off their work! To begin, pick out a terrarium container. A great option is this fun apple shaped terrarium. Next, have your child help pick out the plants. Because terrariums act like mini-greenhouses, plants like succulents and cacti are great options. Pair with some river rocks and soil, and soon the plants will be growing. Terrariums can be placed indoors or outdoors and work on nearly every surface, even hung from the ceiling.

Photo Credit: tienvijftien

Give the kids a breath of fresh air this summer with fun garden projects that are just their size!
Photo Credit: tienvijftien

Window boxes

For a project that will always be in view, have your child take charge of a window planter. Wooden planters are great options because they are durable and will match whatever your child decides to plant inside. This redwood planter can be used as a window box or even as a standalone planter. Your child’s creativity can run wild when picking flowers and plants for the box-just remember to take into account the location of the planter in regards to sun and water needs. By picking a variety of colors, heights, and textures, your child can create their own masterpiece in plant form and it will be right outside the window to enjoy each day!

Outdoor planters

A large garden can be intimidating for children, but many outdoor planters come in sizes that are perfect for little fingers. If your child needs a little gardening motivation, consider giving them a uniquely shaped planter to pique their interest. These volcanic rock planters are a fun option. For a larger project, this vertical pot garden allows kids to be in charge of just a few small pots that will still have a big impact. Help your child choose the right materials for planting, such as soil, fertilizer, and plants. Be sure to choose plants that will work in your climate and that are durable enough to withstand a novice junior gardener.

Gardening is a perfect family activity and a great chance for kids to get their hands dirty in a comfortable environment. With these fun kids gardening ideas, your family will be growing their green thumbs in no time!