Boxed-in Summer


It’s high summer and the nurseries are filled to the brim with pots and punnets of annuals and perennials in full colour – whether it be foliage or flower colour. We shopped till we dropped and planted our booty closely together in a clay window box. If you are also in need of some summer magic on your balcony or patio, buy and plant a few of the following together:

1.We picked the bright yellow Coreopsis ‘Solanna Golden Sphere’, a tough little perennial commonly known as Tickseed. ‘Solanna Golden Sphere’ is a compact variety of Coreopsis (only 20 cm high) that loves full sun and will flower continuously into autumn.


2.Next we chose pink, and possibly the brightest pink of all is the annual Verbena ‘Aztec Cherry Red’. It has a mounded trailing habit, loves full sun, and is heat and humidity resistant.


3.Then we looked for baby blue to go with the bright pink and yellow, and found the cultivar Bacopa Abunda Colossal Blue’, a long-flowering ground cover developed from the indigenous Sutera Cordata. This plant was bred as a filler for mixed containers and will grow in full sun or light shade. It flowers from spring to autumn.

4.As a centre piece, the choice was Ocimum Herbalea ‘Wild Magic’, a dramatic basil with purple leaves and dainty sprays of deep purple flowers. Those wanting extra value can, of course, pick the leaves to add to salads, but we wanted this plant in our window box for its lovely foliage colour and not for eating!

5.As yellow is such a happy colour, more of it was added in the corners of the window box in the form of Calibrachoa Superbells ‘Lemon Slice’, a cascading plant with bright yellow and white flowers that resemble gay beach umbrellas. This was teamed up with a spreading stone crop variety called Sedum Rupestre ‘Angelina’, a tough little succulent with lovely bright yellow foliage. Both enjoy full sun.

Tips for a Happy Summer Box

  • To enjoy the beauty of such a densely planted window box for a long time, you have to use only top-quality potting soil with extra additives such as water retention material, humus like peat, and slow-release fertiliser.
  • Deadhead the spent flowers regularly.
  • Water as soon as the top layer of soil feels dry. Plants so close together would probably need water every day.
  • Feed every two weeks with a water-soluble fertiliser.
The Gardener