Written by Tolly Beck
Tolly Beck is a horticulturist at Lasdon Park and Arboretum in Westchester County. She was formerly a horticulture educator for New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland, NY.
Winter Window Boxes
Window boxes are often forgotten at the end of the gardening season. Annuals are removed and all that is left is bare soil. The onset of winter provides a great opportunity to add some seasonal interest to those window boxes.
Many evergreens can be cut and the ends of their branches stuck into the existing soil in the window box. Cut the ends of the branches on an angle to make them easier to insert. Good choices for greenery are Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), American holly (Ilex opaca), inkberry (Ilex glabra) and American arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis). You can spray the evergreen branches with an anti-desiccant to help prevent them from drying out.
Provide some color and interest by adding branches of red or yellow- twig dogwood (Cornus sericea). Pinecones and branches with berries can add a variety of shapes, heights and colors. Small birdhouses and wire sculpted birds can also be added. It may be winter, but trees and shrubs can provide interest and beauty in both landscapes and window boxes.