• Creating an autumn window box

    Window boxes are wonderful for relieving townscape drabness and will add charm to any home in an urban or country setting this autumn and winter. 

    To add a striking note to your seasonal containers, use ornamental cabbages. 

    Their swirls of crinkly-edged leaves add welcome textural impact to a mixed planting arrangement and their rose, ruby and garnet hues bring much needed colour at a time of year when everything seems grey. 

    Combine them with equally colourful and vibrant feathery heathers and mounds of golden, silver or mottled green ivy. Complete your window box with winter pansies, hebes, outdoor cyclamen and primulas – all produce delightful, long-lasting blooms. 

    You can even under plant with narcissus, tulips and other bulbs for added impact. 

    Tips for window box newbies: 

    • For wooden window boxes choose teak, oak or durable red cedar. Galvanised steel, terracotta or fibre-glass may suit more modern architecture 
    • Your window box should be at least 15cm (6in) wide and 20cm (8in) deep 
    • The box should have feet to allow it to stand level on a sloping sill and also allow room for a drip tray to catch excess water. 
    • Drainage holes should be 2cm (¾in) in diameter and placed 15-20cm (6-8in) apart. 
    • Cover drainage holes with crocks, followed by a layer of gravel or small stones and then standard compost up to the top 
    • Secure the box with brackets or straps across the front, then anchor it to each side of the window frame.