Garden Thyme, Summer

Planting Window Boxes with Shade Loving Plants

Hello everyone! I am so glad to have you back for another post in my “garden thyme” series! Today I am sharing a post with some photos of the part shade/shade window boxes I planted up for the front of our house. I am so excited to actually be sharing this post because we have lived here at the yellow brick home for five years and this is the first summer I have actually planted anything in the boxes! I really wasn’t quite ready to plant them yet but Lowes was having a massive plant clearance sale and I couldn’t pass up the great deals on these shade loving plants.


Here they are just one day after planting. The plants should perk up and fill out, spill out, and hopefully perform well into late fall and a couple will be evergreen. There are actually two boxes which prevents me from being able to use a tall centerpiece plant but I think the ferns will grow big and spill over and hide the center division of the boxes.  It was hard to get a good photo without showing the mess of the flower bed underneath because the boxes are high up and if I stood back further the rest of the eyesore flower bed was in the picture. We are in the middle of planting a couple of new bushes so I will show more in a before and after post next week after the planting is finished.


Shade Plants For Window Boxes or Containers

Here are some pretty examples of the plants I chose for the boxes:


English Ivy (Hedera Helix)


Coral flower - Heuchera micrantha var. diversifolia 'Palace Purple' (the color is prettier in person). Mixed with the green Heuchera I posted will be beautiful near front door area. Shade/part shade. Medium water

Heuchera Coral Bells


Learn about the 21 Best Ferns for Containers, these beautiful foliage plants available in various shapes, textures, and colors provide interest in shady space!

Autumn Fern


Diamond Frost is wonderful on its own, or in a mixed container where it can spread its tiny blooms throughout.

Diamond Frost Euphorbia


Hippo™ Rose - Polka Dot Plant - Hypoestes phyllostachya

Hippo Rose Polka Dot Plant



Headliner™ Banana Cherry Swirl Petunia

Banana Cherry Swirl Petunia

*Petunias are sun loving plants, but I just loved this color combo and decided to stick a few in the boxes to see how they do.



It has been raining all week and it was late in the evening when we got home from Lowes so these photos aren’t very vivid, but I wanted to get the plants planted right away. This droopy Heuchera “Coral Bells” was on clearance for $3.00 and it was looking a little sad, but I feel pretty confident it will be beautiful in no time  (based on the fact that the deer have often chomped on the coral bells in our flower beds and they bounced right back.




The autumn ferns are perennials and they would probably do better in an even shadier spot, but since the window box area is shady most of the day I wanted to give them a try. In late fall I will transplant them out into the flower beds and I hope to find some small evergreens on clearance at the end of fall to plant for winter interest. I also found some  Hippo Rose Polka Dot Plant marked down for .50 a four pack so I snatched up a couple dollars worth to fill in gaps.

Frugal Flower Tip: Flowers and landscaping projects can get expensive, but if you are savvy with your spending and you have a little patience can really fix up your garden areas on a budget by shopping the clearance plants at the end of spring. If  clearance plants look a little scraggly, you can usually nurse them back to health with a good trimming, adequate water and plant food.


The colors of plants are inspired by the trees, naturalized shade plants, and beautiful views up into the forest across the street which begins just behind our neighbor’s home. I think the landscape is even more beautiful on rainy days.


I also have similar plants and tones in the urns just beside our porch and the plants in our landscape. This planter has been going strong since last October! It wintered over nicely and is loving spring weather!



The coral bells do very well in this spot under the window in the flower beds. Even though they aren’t as vibrant through the winter, they still provide winter interest (unless the deer feast on them!) We are still sprucing up this part of the flower bed in front of the porch, but it is almost finished and I plant so show a few more photos in my Early Summer Home and Garden Tour next week!



After planting the boxes with all of the shade plants they looked very magical and “woodland”  and I thought they were so pretty as they were, but I still felt like they needed a little more color for summer. I found these gorgeous petunias at a local grocery store and I thought the colors would pop a bit and look pretty with our yellow brick. Since petunias are sun lovers they may not like this location, so If I don’t see some nice blooms after a week or so I will plant them in a sunnier location and add some impatiens or other shade annuals to the boxes.




I also picked up four  Euphorbia to lighten up the boxes a bit more. The light, airy and ethereal plant is a beautiful contrast with the other varying foliage and textures.



The window is relatively high up off the ground so I definitely wanted a spiller to trail down. We have tons of lush green English ivy on the right side of our house and porch but none on the left.


yellow bricks yellow brick home English Ivy Ivy growing on bricks


We do allow some of the ivy to creep up the porch columns for a stately look, but we have to trim it several times during the spring, summer and fall to keep it from getting out of control.

Beinvenue Summer! Cottage and Garden Style Summer Porch Tour

Since it can be invasive I didn’t want to plant more in the ground, but adding it to the window box is the perfect solution for incorporating ivy on the other side of the porch and landscape since the ivy will be contained in the window boxes without taking over.



It will also provide beautiful evergreen interest in during winter.  I realize now that copper paint on the window boxes is fading and I probably should have painted them first, but if the ivy grows the way I hope it will, the copper part probably won’t even show much.


Copper Flower Box


Future curb appeal plans: I would also like to add some copper window boxes to the kitchen windows on the side of our house and possibly to the little garage windows. We are planning some other possible curb appeal renovations, including replacing our white vinyl siding on the 1990’s kitchen addition with vinyl shakes. We are also checking metal carport prices to see how much it will cost to rework the parking on the side of our house that leads into the kitchen. If we change add a carport then there will be a brand new space for gardening where a parking space has been and there will be a beautiful space for a kitchen potager herb garden!

Oops…I get sidetracked easily when I think of home updates and gardening possibilities!  Now back to the subject at hand..shade window boxes planters!

More Ideas For Planting Shade Window Boxes


Here are a few pictures from our most recent video where I planted up a couple of window boxes in the shade! I love shade planters because…

Garden Answer IG



Gorgeous window boxes for the shade with Caladium. Click through to find more flower box ideas. #fromhousetohome #flowerboxes #gardeningtips #gardenideas #containers #windowboxes #shadegarden

From House To Home




Shade window this ivy

Pretty Pink Tulips




2017 flower box



If you are mounting your window box under a shady window, you can pot up with shade-loving plants.source





southern window box south carolina green pink

Gilded Mint

If you are one of the 57% of homeowners who is looking to add curb appeal to your home this summer, consider adding window boxes to your front windows or at least some containers or urns to your front entry area.  While not as fun as picking out pretty flowers and designing containers, another important factor to consider is keeping your gutters clean and in good repair. No matter how pretty your flowers are, if your gutters are full and dirty it distract from any other curb appeal! Clogged gutters can also cause water damage to your roof, lawn, and foundation, so be sure to clean them each season or have them professionally cleared out  if it’s a job you’d rather not tackle yourself.




If you have shade to part shade and you haven’t tried window box  planting because you were unsure which plants to use, I hope this post has encouraged you to try some of the plants and window box designs I shared here today. Of course you can always uses these same plants in mixed containers if you don’t have window boxes.


How is your gardening coming along? I love hearing from you, dear readers!

Thanks for visiting!



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  • Reply Cindy

    Amber your window boxes look great. I think you’re right they will fill in to cover the middle of the boxes. I’m sure it’s only slightly noticeable in photos.

    I can’t believe across the street from where you live. Looking and that and seeing your window boxes must be pretty mb

    Enjoy your weekend


    June 7, 2019 at 4:43 pm
  • Reply Debbie-Dabble

    Lovely plants and containers!!
    Thanks so much for stopping by and for taking the time to comment!!

    June 8, 2019 at 4:53 pm
  • Reply Barbara Chapman

    Hi Amber, love how your window boxes turned out! I might have to make some for my backyard garden… 😉 Our front windows don’t have any ledges, really, and are very low (the windows are tall), sadly. We have been working on our gutters and since the last 24 years haven’t been kind to the flashing around the house, we will be replacing with painted Hardy board bit by bit starting in the fall. The joys of moving into a new home… $$$. Lol!

    Happy gardening,
    Barb 🙂

    p.s. Featuring your post today at Share Your Style #212, thank you for sharing!!!

    June 12, 2019 at 6:29 pm
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