Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kitchen Window Box

We have a window box outside the kitchen window. There are two boxes, actually, side by side. In our first three years here, we filled them with geraniums (I don't have a photo from 2003, the first year). Geraniums just might be the national flowers of France. You see them everywhere, in the cities and in the country, nationwide.

2004 on the left, 2005 on the right.
Both years we had geraniums in the boxes.

But then I started to notice a few rebels here and there who put flowers-that-are-not-geraniums in their pots and window boxes. I felt the call to join their ranks. So in 2006 we started experimenting with petunias. But not just any petunias. These are surfinias, or trailing petunias.

2006 (left and right) was the first year we tried surfinias.

They can look great as they grow and tumble out of the window box, putting on a nice show of color against the house. The geraniums tend to grow upward, which was a problem for us when we wanted to close the shutter on the kitchen window.

In 2007 we went back to geraniums.

We've since changed the window and the shutter. Now the shutter simply rolls down, so geraniums are no longer in the way. But I still like the surfinias, so that's what we got again this year. Who knows, we may go back to geraniums next year. We're full of surprises around here.

In 2008 we put in surfinias again, in two different colors!

We've changed the soil in the boxes since we've been here, and this year I added some new soil to keep things fresh. I also incorporated some fertilizer beads since I frequently forget to feed the plants when I water them. And I have to water them since the roof overhang keeps most of the rainwater off the window box.

2009 is another surfinia year. This time, hot pink.
These are newly planted and haven't yet grown out of the boxes.


  1. I loved seeing these little window boxes all around Paris, I took lots of photos of them too.

  2. Your window boxes are BEAUTIFUL! I just love photos of your house :)


  3. I envy you your window boxes and having the time to do them so beautifully and having the weather to know they're worth doing. They're lovely.

  4. You wouldn't have trouble finding my house in Manhattan Beach. I have geraniums hanging everywhere. I planted petunias last year but worms got them. They didn't bother the geraniums as much. Impatience are popular in France too.
    I read in the LA Times yesterday that Cannes was not going to be too interesting this year. (My business is in turmoil).

  5. They're looking very good. I tried surfinias one year, but although they looked spectacular, I couldn't get on with their stickiness (aphids?), especially since they needed dead-heading so often.

  6. So pretty! I love them. They add so much to a home. I tried them many, many years ago....the wood warped, they split open, the water and soil dumped out everywhere on the ground below. So, I'll enjoy yours from now on.

  7. They do look beautiful but do not be offended when I mention that seeing the photos I was, for some reason, reminded of the character Bree from Desperate Housewives!

  8. I do not care for geraniums - they seemed common. I like to put in something fabulous and unique, although there is talk.

  9. evol, they really brighten up the place, don't they?

    judy, merci!

    jean, they came with the house, so why not? :)

    nadege, we have impatiens, too, in jardinières on the north side of the house.

    patrick, ours get sticky, as well. I'll have to look for aphids this year and see if that's it.

    lewis, these boxes aren't made of wood, they're some kind of composit terra cotta or concrete material. Very heavy, very durable.

    victor, I'm not offended as I've never seen DH and don't know who that is!

    barb, thanks!

    urspo, hmmm, fabulosity! I wonder what flower you'd have?

  10. Hi, what a lovely blog! I'm a novice gardener and was just looking up how/whether to deadhead the classic red geraniums in our window boxes. The flowers were thriving, but now many have blackened and died. I thought maybe I hadn't watered or fertilized enough but maybe (hopefully!) they just need to be removed so new buds can grow. I live in a little 50s house in Maryland, pretty far from France, but proof that a box full of blooms can liven up any window. :) PS, we watched the French Open yesterday, so exciting! Tho must confess we were cheering for the underdog.


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