Arrangement of purple asters, flowering kale, leather leaf sedge, trailing ivy, and fountain grass
Lynn Karlin

Design Basics

Think of a window box as you would a centerpiece. The same guidelines for proportion and balance apply. Like a floral arrangement, your design should look good from all sides, since it's on view from indoors as well as out. Plants selected because of their contrast -- in texture, form, and color -- yield the best results. Group plants that share the same basic needs; for example, sun lovers shouldn't be asked to keep company with plants that prefer shade. Here, purple asters are flanked by flowering kale, leather leaf sedge, trailing ivy, and fountain grass. 'Jack Be Little' pumpkins and 'Festival' squash tucked into the arrangement add a touch of autumn to the window box.

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