Monday, February 1, 2010

An Iron Window Box To Give A Cottage Appeal

An exuberant window box display on a plain house wall

A cottage is usually a one- or one-and-a-half-story home with quaint details. The house may have a decorative curved roof off to one side, or a porch with fancy trim, windows with rustic-style shutters painted a cheerful color and more. The front and sides of the home are likely to be surrounded in gardens that are thick with flowers and little cement animals peeking out from unexpected places. At the front, a fence in charming white pickets or delicate wrought iron does more to invite the view than block it. This setting is perfect for the addition of iron window balconies suitable for holding terracotta pots or rustic wood window boxes overflowing with flowers. Sometimes this type of box is added to a front facing attic window, and it is used to draw the eye upward. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Determine the location for each iron windowsill balcony box that you want to install. If your cottage is a masonry construction home, paint the masonry that will be behind the window box with siloxane water repellent. This prevents water from wicking back through the masonry into the walls of the house.

2. Position the box underneath the window, centered and level, and mark the location of each mounting hole. If your home is wood frame, move a stud finder around the position of your marks. If there is a stud within 2 inches of the marks, reposition the planter to mount to the stud. Most full and watered window boxes are 200 pounds or heavier, so it is important to secure them well to the wall.

3. Screw long screws directly through the iron into the stud. Drill pilot holes for non-stud locations. Insert a wall anchor rated for 200 pounds and attach the iron with a lag bolt. Drill anchor holes in masonry with a masonry drill. Apply caulk around the heads of screws and bolts before tightening them to prevent water from intruding through the screw hole.

4. Select a fiberglass insert that will fit your ironwork. The box should have a drain hole. Cover the hole and the bottom of the box with a layer of small stones to keep the roots of the plants out of the water. Fill the box with the suggested soil mix for planter boxes for your region. In drier climates, peat moss can be added to help retain moisture.

5. Plant your flower box with dangling plants and flowers around the edges and bright colorful plants or flowers in the center. Water your box two to three times daily. Feed your box extra nutrients every other week, and remove plants that grow leggy or stop blooming and replace them with fresh flowers.

Tags: location each, plants flowers, that will, water from, window boxes, with flowers