#HOUSEOFKORDS Flower Boxes & Urban Oasis

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WINDOW BOXES:

Curb appeal can be a bit hard to come by in a renovated row house. When we were on the hunt for a home a few years ago, all I wanted was a beautiful brick row house with cool architecture and curb appeal for days….as you can see…things don’t always go perfectly planned. Enter- WINDOW BOXES. If my home was going to be flat hardy board, I was adamant that we install massive window boxes for dimension, added curb appeal and texture to our homes exterior. These window boxes are my little pride in joy on our skinny little home and I love to give my home a facelift every spring with gorgeous new flowers. I was so excited when Ace Hardware Wexford reached out to me to work together with them on this project because I knew they’d be so knowledgable in helping me design the boxes.

First things first: what flowers did we plant?

Sweet Potato Vine: The lime color leafy green *a must for all flower boxes

Petunias: My second year planting petunias in the boxes. I LOVE them for boxes because they grow viney with beautiful stems. In these boxes I have three different colors- purple speckled, purple ombre & white. There are also pink mini petunias in there that are so cute!

New Guinea Impatiens: I have planted impatiens every year in my boxes and they do REALLY well. They grow huge and look so nice in the back of the box for some extra height. (mine are white this year)

Lobelia: My first time using them and love the color and texture they add.

Trailing Alyssum: A great option for baskets or boxes- they remind me a bit of a tiny trailing baby’s breath!

FAQ:

What types of plants are best for window boxes? Anything that needs full sun!

How do you know how much to buy? My boxes are actually massive and I never realized. The girls at Ace were so helpful and made me see that I had a lot more space then I realized. I say buy more than you expect you’ll need, and you’ll probably end up using all of it. Of course you can always go back and grab more too!

Is there a strategy for what to plant where? In terms of how to ‘design’ your boxes, I go by the ‘three’ rule. If you look closely, you can see that I planted three potato vines (one all the way to the left, one in the middle, and one all the way on the right) in both big boxes. That is essentially my ‘anchor’ because potato vine is such an intense color and grows like a weed, so I wanted to build around that. Once those were planted, I just tried to put ‘tall’ plants (impatiens & lobelia) in the back to grow up, then trailing plants (petunias & trailing alyssum) at the front and on the sides so it could spill over the box. I feel it’s really important to find tall plants and trailing plants to make your boxes look as full as possible.

How often do they need water? I usually base that off of the dryness of the soil. If the soil is wet/damp- they don’t need water, if it is dry, they need a drink. It definitely depends on the time of year as well. In the spring, when it was a bit more mild, I was only watering them once or twice a week. Right now, with it being so dang hot out right now, they need it every day!

Dos & Don’ts? This year I planted my trailing alyssum too close to my sweet potato vine and the sweet potato vine is taking over and you can barely see it! It makes me sad because the alyssum is so so pretty and textural- I won’t make that mistake again! This is also the first year where I actually feel like my boxes look AMAZING because the colors all coincide and the boxes are sooo full. Previously I think I planted too few plants in my boxes. My best advice when shopping for your flowers would be to lay them out and see how they’d go together. Picture your boxes and invasion how you’d lay them out in each box. It really helped me to take a picture of the front of my house ahead of time to look at too!

This photo was taken about a week after I planted (roughly the first week of June)

This photo was taken about a week after I planted (roughly the first week of June)

Took this photo on the last week of June- do you believe the difference!

Took this photo on the last week of June- do you believe the difference!

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BACKYARD URBAN OASIS

Our backyard is little, but mighty. Just enough space for a dining table and a little seating area. Of course, it’s mainly fence for privacy given that we have attached neighbors on both sides, and homes that sit right on our back alley as well. I always wanted to have a vine-like plant in our back yard- last year I got one Mandevilla bush and once it started to grow up my fence, I realized how much this space was lacking some green beauty. I it mentioned to the girls’ at Ace and within 24 hours they had brought three beautiful bushes to my house and plopped them at my doorstep (how stinking cute are they?). I planted all three in planters with petunias and all three are thriving back there. I have started to train the vines on the Mandevilla to grow together and I’m hoping I’ll end up with one huge flowering wall by the end of the summer!

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All flowers c/o Ace Hardware in Wexford

Brianne Conley