Ez is in the process of installing our shiny new front porch railing (see stack of railing pieces above), and two weeks ago I had a bright idea: black iron porch railing + black iron window boxes = one step closer to a harmonious façade at this hodge-podge house. 

I thought window boxes would both give dimension and draw attention to the front of the house, which may in turn take attention away from some of the other curb appeal deficiencies we haven't been able to address yet (e.g. patchy grass, lack of landscaping, muddy driveway). 

Shopping where we live is not the most convenient, so I relied on the internet to make this vision come true. After some googling and Amazon-ing, I landed on these online-only Chateau Trough planters from Target. I liked the style, they came in the lengths I needed (24" and 48" to span the 8-foot window), and the price wasn't bad. They turned out to be as sturdy as I'd hoped, so I am pleased.

Fortunately, unlike the porch railing (which Ez says has been one of the most challenging DIY tasks yet), installing the planters was simple: two heavy-duty zinc hooks for each planter, pre-drilled and screwed into the wood trim under the window. The planters can be easily lifted on and off as needed, and it was all so easy I fear something is bound to go wrong at any moment.

Then came the fun part: the garden center! I dragged my mom along because she has a good eye for these things, and she always has beautiful flowers that she manages to keep alive while being just as frenetic and distracted as I am on a daily basis. We spent over an hour huddled under an umbrella in the pouring rain, selecting plants and laying them out to see what configurations of colors, heights, leaves and blooms looked best. We got soaked and it was great.

Configuring one of the 24" window boxes at the garden center...

My Mother's Day gift to myself was planting them and taking a moment to step back and appreciate how nice it all looked. Theoretically they will look even better in a few weeks when the plants are bigger and fuller. (I took these photos 1 week after planting, and they had already perked up and grown significantly.) My mission is to keep them alive to see this part of the vision come true. We shall see!

This year's window box plants:

A - Alyssum Lavender Stream (Lobularia Maritima) - small, trailing flowers
B - 'Ponytails' Grass (Stipa tenuissima) - a spiky grass
C - Heliotrope Marino Blue (Heliotropium Arborescens) - tall, blue-violet flowers
D - Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) - bright green trailing vine
E - Torenia Purple Moon (Torenia Fournieri) - shorter purple flowers
F - White alyssum
G - Sweet Potato Vine 'Goldfinger' (Ipomoea batatas)
H - 'Blackie' Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas)
I - White Geranium

The harder task ahead is planning and picking out perennials for foundation plantings and general landscaping. I have no idea what I'm doing, but it's been therapeutic to flip through gardening and landscaping books lately.

I'm posting this full-façade pic so you can see the railing progress. I think the house is going to look so much better -- so much more finished overall -- with the railing done. I also cannot wait to get that bottom row of chinking done, now that the stone foundation has been cleaned and repointed. 

I am so happy that spring is finally here! And yes, our side yard always looks that magical. Seriously. It's my favorite part of living here.


  1. It looks awesome!! I totally understand what curb appeal can do to making a house feel finished. I'm so excited to be in this same phase.
    What kind of flowers did you put in the boxes? I need to come up with something similar and I have no eye for that!

    1. I updated the post with this info! I found some ideas I liked on Pinterest -- I liked lots of trailing plants and different textures mixed together -- then went to the plant store to pick out the actual plants. It was too hard for me to try to pick them in advance before going... I couldn't visualize what different plants would look like together without seeing them.

  2. That's a fresh angle (Side of the steps) and looks good. I clearly remember the day I put flower beds and planted Hosta around the house. Janie was in Israel that week. She came back to a house 73.89% more complete because of the finish bedding provides. Kudos!

    1. Thanks! What a nice gesture for her. We have so much left to do, landscaping-wise, but every little bit truly seems to make a huge difference. That's encouraging!

  3. Deborah EMay 20, 2014

    the flower baskets are so nice.......love the way they enhance the front of your home. I love the selection of plants you selected. The sweet potato vine will go crazy..... (I love it!).

    1. Thank you. I really wanted plants that would fill out and trail -- I hope I can keep them alive to get to that point! They're doing well so far.

  4. I totally stalk this blog to stay posted on all of the awesome updates about your house. It really look amazing! Hope you guys are well and hopefully we can find some time to get together this summer!

    1. KDOG? Please reveal your true identity so we can make plans for hanging out!


Thanks for reading! I love your thoughts, feedback and suggestions. Keep 'em coming!