In neighborhoods and cities where the homes are built right next to the sidewalk and streets, window boxes may be the only opportunity for gardening, according to Carol Spier, author of "Garden Ideas." The boxes should complement the architecture of the home and maintain its style of formality or informality. Autumn is a time when nature slows down and gets ready for a long winter nap, but that doesn't mean your window boxes have to do the same.
Cover the soil of the box with a layer of straw, sphagnum moss or fall leaves. Add in a pot or two of asters. Arrange mini pumpkins, squash, gourds and bundles of wheat in the box. Fill in with red and yellow apples. The arrangement should last until it's time to decorate for the holidays. If freezing weather arrives the fruit and veggies may freeze, but as long as they don't defrost, they should look fine.
Combine larger pumpkins with Indian corn. Lean the corn against the pumpkin so it's visible. Add a few small branches of oak, maple, birch or other leaves that turn color in the fall. If the corn won't stay upright, wire it to a wooden skewer, then plunge the skewer into the dirt to stabilize it.
Masses of chrysanthemums are an easy way to plant a fall window boxes. If you have them growing in the garden, transplant to the boxes. Purchase 4-inch pots of ready-to-bloom mums from the nursery. Combine them with a trailing flowering plant such as purple alyssum. Pansies are normally thought of as spring flowers, but they will live through a light fall frost. Use pansies and violas in autumn colors such as purple, orange and burgundy. Asters, Helianthus, which look like small yellow sunflowers, and dwarf sunflowers are good choices for autumn.
Combine Fall Flowers With Spring Bulbs
Plant the flower boxes with a layer of spring bulbs about 4 to 6 inches from the top of the box. Bury the bulbs with soil. Add a selection of fall blooming flowers, such as chrysanthemums. When the first hard frost hits, the flowers will die out. Remove the boxes and put them where the temperature remains above freezing but below 40 degrees. A garage might be perfect. When spring arrives, the bulbs will be peeking through the soil and ready to grace your windows again. Over-plant with a dusting of lobelia seeds or plant a few nasturtium seeds.