Creating Colour Schemes and Themes for Window Boxes

Create a seaside window box theme
Please share this with friends and family

In this article, we will discuss how the colour and theme you decorate your window boxes lend themselves to particularly planting schemes. In previous articles, I have discussed how to plant a gothic window box and a Victorian-style window box, but in this article, we will extend our designs.

Create a seaside window box theme
Create a seaside window box theme

For example, you can create a seaside theme by using seashell motifs painted at the side of the window box.

This suggests plants that are resistant to salty air and will look good in a container that is painted a light silvery-blue colour, In this theme, shrubs, herbs and grasses with silver foliage will look simply stunning. They are not only moisture-retentive but really look different in a window box.


To add an extra dimension plants with small glossy leaves such as Euonymus, Hebe and dwarf cotoneasters can be added.  You are not only reduced to using foliage plants as in the summer Hebes, but Lavenders, Brachyglottis and cotton lavender will also add flowers to the display. They will add subtle whites, blues and yellow to the scheme.

The suggested seaside theme may look dull in spring but colour can be added if various bulbs are added, such as Crocus chrysanthus varieties, Scilla siberica or dwarf irises all of which look stunning against gravel and silvery-grey foliage.

You have so many decorative effects and planting schemes that you are really spoilt for choice.

You can use stone effect window boxes with dwarf alpines, plant cottage plants in timber effect boxes. Varnished and blue stained window boxes suit dwarf conifers as boxed bonsai and log effect window boxes suit hostas and ornamental grasses.

If you like ‘out there’ designs you can go brightly coloured window boxes planted with stunning foliage plants that will draw any visitors to it. You can use stencilling, marbling effect or even sponges with different designs to add paint to create what you want your window box to look like.


First, you will need to create a window box (see my article on creating a wooden window box to tell you how to do this). Next, you will need to paint the box light, silvery-blue colour. When it has dried use stencils with various seashell motif patterns and paint them with white stain at various locations to complete the look. Spray the seashells on the front and both sides of the window box.

Place a plastic trough on the wooden box that has pre-drilled drainage holes.

To this cover, the drainage holes with a fine plastic mesh to prevent the compost from closing the holes up. It will also prevent soil from trickling onto the outer wooden box.

You can create colourful window box
You can create a colourful window box

Add about 2.5cm depth of washed gravel over the mesh at the bottom of the trough, which adds an extra filter layer to prevent compost particles from leaving the trough, as well as stopping the compost from getting waterlogged. Fill up to 1cm below the rim of the trough with a 75% mix of multipurpose compost and 25% perlite to make a free-flowing and draining growing media,

At the centre of the trough plant a Brachyglottis ‘Sunshine’. Next to this on the right in the front plant a Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ to soften the hard edges.


Next to the Euonymus at the back, right corner plant a Santolina chamaecyparissus (Cotton Lavender). Try not to make the plants too orderly or straight, as it does not look natural. To the left side in front of the Brachyglottis plant a Hebe pingufolia ‘Pagei’

To keep the look next to the Hebe on the left hand use a lavender such as Lavandula x intermedia in at the front left corner.

Make sure all the plants are firmly planted with no air pockets. On top of the compost add gold-coloured gravel to give the plants a better look and to protect the stems and lower leaves from water splashes.

To add an extra dimension to the window box, add various seashells scattered amongst the plants.

Place the window box in full sun to get the best from it. Trim the lavender lightly after flowering to keep it compact and looking neat. The Hebe should not need any attention, whilst the other plants may need to be pruned hard in spring if necessary.


As said previously in my articles on colours that the choice of colours used plays an important part in how they match with plants and the way they make us feel.

If you paint the window box a pastel colour then it will give a restful look, whilst a darker shade of the same colour will act as a mood booster. For those who are bolder, you can use contrasting or unrelated colours. You can team plants and containers to blend with each other as long as they are colours of equal strengths.

Hebes make an excellent plant for the scheme
Hebes make an excellent plant for the scheme

One to avoid is to use pastel flowers in a container painted in bright primary colours. An Example includes a light green painted box in which at the back at equal distances 5 Verbena ‘Blue Cascade’ are planted. In between these, 3 Osteospermum ‘Sunny Girl’ is planted, at equal distances.

At the front of these, plant 3 Helichrysum petiolare ‘Variegatum’ also at each distance that is interplanted with 2 Senecio cineraria.

Another potential scheme is to paint a box a purple colour to which at the end at the back, two white-centred red petunias are planted. At the centre of the container, a fuchsia is added to complement the look. To add to its beauty and in front of the petunias, 2 variegated Hedera helix are used that not only trails but completes the look.


In this article, we discuss how to use colour schemes and themes in your window boxes. In particular, in this article, we have concentrated on how to create a seaside theme or a colour based scheme where the plants match or contrast with the colour the box is painted too. You have so many potential designs and for those of you that are creative then this is a project worthwhile.

You really do not see colourful window boxes in most neighbourhoods and if you want to be different from the neighbours then this article should give you ideas on how to do this.

If you have any questions or comments that you wish to ask that will colour your window boxes better, please do so in the comment box below.

Happy colourful window box creating.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *