Window gardening during the summer months is much more successful in England than with us, owing to a more temperate climate, and hence is there almost universally practised. In the cities especially, where space is economized by placing story upon story, and the buildings are so close that there is often no room for even a spear of grass to be grown, the only garden that is possible is one formed in a box on the window-sill; this is limited in its extent, as the space afforded is only some 4 or 5 feet in length, from 8 to 10 inches wide, with a depth for the soil of about 6 inches. These boxes, are made of a great variety of materials, such as wood, terra cotta, iron, etc., according to the taste or means of the owner. As the boxes are usually too high up to allow of a close examination, and the sides soon become draped with dropping plants, an ordinary bos of pine, as in Fig. 29, will answer as well as a more expensive one; as it is exposed to the weather, and the weight of the earth is considerable, it should be put together very firmly. Having procured the box, then let a tinsmith make a lining or box of zinc that will exactly fit inside of it; this needs only a few tacks at the upper edge to hold the zinc to the wood. A more expensive box, (fig. 30), is made of wood, lined with zinc, and the exterior covered with ornamental tiles, which are kept in place by a proper molding at the margins. A box of this kind may be covered with floor oil-cloth, and if a proper pattern be selected, it cannot at a few yards off be told from the much more costly tiles. Many of the streets of London and Edinburgh, during the summer months, present a pleasing appearance, that cannot fail to interest even those who have no taste for flowers. The plants. used are mainly such as we recommend for hanging baskets, those designated for shady positions being used on the shady sides of the streets, and those for flowering on the sunny sides. These window gardens in summer produce the finest effect when planted with some drooping species. For our climate, during the summer months, when exposed to full sun, strong, vigorous-growing plants must be selected, such as Tropaeolums, Petunias, Passifloras, etc. While for the same position, the upright plants may be double and single Geraniums, Heliotropes, Mignonnette, and the like. For window boxes on the shady side, use the plants recommended for hanging baskets in shade. The soil may be such as is used for pots. Watering must be given as recommended for hanging baskets, only in the case of the window box it would not be practicable to immerse it, nor is there the same necessity for doing so, as the box is less exposed than the hanging basket, which is suspended and surrounded by drying air upon all sides. These remarks refer to window gardening outside of the windows, or on the outer sill. If the boxes are placed inside in winter, which they may be, the treatment recommended in chapter on "Winter Flowering Plants," will be applicable.
Fig. 29. -Plain Window Box.
Fig. 30. - Window-Box Ornamented With Tiles.