Spring Plants In The Window Boxes And Pots – You cannot beat a bright show of colors right outside your window. Unlike hanging baskets, which usually look better with an array of plants, window boxes can be elegant and stylish with just one kind of plant. That can be a row of hyacinths, so that their scent can waft indoors on warm days when the window is open, or the smaller, elegant narcissi like N. cyclamineus ‘Jack Snipe’, with white petals and a yellow center.
The effect can be enormously improved by placing shapely pebbles and stones on the soil surface. You can even go one better by painting the window box a contrasting color, for example rich blue or slate grey, or for something slightly livelier try dark red with thin yellow, curving wispy lines.
If you have a spare patch of patio or terrace, it is well worth patterning it with a smart range of tubs and pots so that they are almost as eye-catching as the spring plants. Aim for a variety of styles from large, impressive urns down to smaller, old-fashioned pots for crocuses.
The bigger pots need strong, dominant spring plants. They might include tender plants that were moved under cover over winter, like the fantastically dramatic Agave americana with its long, stiff, fleshy pointed leaves that can grow 2m (6ft) long. At this time of year it needs a warm, sheltered spot, and a quick dash into the conservatory if there is a sudden frost.
Camellias are far less demanding, especially the smaller hardy ones like the beautiful C. ‘Nicky Crisp’. It flowers from early to mid-spring, has pink flowers, and will not exceed 1.5m (5ft).
Camellia ‘Nicky Crisp’
For one of the strongest scents in the spring garden you need Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’. The pale pink flowers open in early spring. You will get the most from this slow-growing shrub, which will reach about 1.2m (4ft) high, by placing it in a sunny, windless corner.
Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’