Cottage-Style Window Box Ideas

By Kellie Grammer

As the sun begins to thaw the earth’s cold winter, the humble window box brings long-awaited vibrancy of spring color. 


Whether you are an avid gardener or making your first attempt at developing a green thumb, follow these tips, and try your hand at a signature cottage delight—the window box. With its bright blooms and cascading greens, the window box ushers in the start of a beautiful new season of growth.


Window boxes offer a wide array of appeal in their flexibility. They add instant personality to the facade of a cottage and invite color and sweet fragrance indoors with the opening of a window. Whether neat and uniform or lush and overflowing, the addition of a window box cheerfully welcomes spring and brings cottage charm to the home.


When buying your window box, be sure to consider its practicality before being won over by its appearance. It must be appropriately wide and deep to accommodate the roots of whichever plants you choose each season. A perfectly sized window box will pay off when it raises healthy and vibrant plants.

Use color thoughtfully in your window box garden. Choosing a hue that contrasts with your home’s exterior will draw the eye directly to the blooms. This is also a great opportunity to utilize a favorite color that might be too bold to commit to in paint.

If bright colors don’t suit your cottage, muted tones can create an elegant statement. Choosing multiple plants in the same shade provides interesting texture and subtle simplicity. Choose high-quality potting soil for your window box. The soil should retain moisture and drain well, and it should be replaced annually. To help lighten the container, which can easily become heavy with saturated soil, add packing peanuts to the bottom. This also helps with drainage.

Utilizing plants of varying heights can add depth and will make each plant more visible within the planter. By layering tall plants behind those that thrive close to the soil, you can easily create an expertly arranged container.

For additional dimension, incorporate trailing plants in your arrangement. A window box with gorgeous cascading blooms and bright greens brings an air of enchantment to your cottage.