Planting a Wire Scroll Window Box so That It Withstands the Elements

Wallace Gardens
by Wallace Gardens
I have a client who has a number of these beautiful wire scroll window boxes that I fill for her every spring and fall. She has them on a full-sun terrace where they receive plenty of sun and wind - normally an ideal place for growing beautiful flowers, right?
Well, for those of us who have experienced planting and maintaining these kinds of planters during the summer, you'll understand the challenges of trying to keep them properly watered. When I posted one of these window boxes on my facebook page, one of my followers, Barbara E. from Santa Cruz, California, told me a friend had given her one of these same scroll planters, and she wondered what I did to "keep it all together." I told her how I prepared the coconut husk liners, and she was able to do the same with her window box and sent me pictures of her L O V E L Y herb planter, using my suggestions (see below).
You'll need to purchase a roll of coconut husk liner, and cut it by hand to fill your basket (you will need some heavy-duty scissors). Following these instructions, this liner will last for about two years, depending upon the severity of your local weather. I double-line all four sides and allow the folds to fill the corners (you many need to trim away some of the excess coconut husk if it's too bulky). Allow enough overlap around the upper rim so that you can fold the extra husk back inside the planter and secure it with zip ties all around the upper rim (every 4-6" - see photo of unfilled planter). This reinforces the liner so that it can be filled with dirt, plants, and water, and maintain its shape. Before adding the dirt, I cut a heavy-duty black plastic trash bag and line the bottom of the planter, allowing it to come up the inside by several inches. I carefully cut a few slits in the black plastic, about 2" long, to allow for drainage in the bottom (have someone help you fill the planter with dirt, so that the plastic liner stays in place). The extra layers of coconut husk, and the plastic liner in the bottom, help keep moisture around the roots of the plants so that they do not dry out so quickly and have a longer, healthier, growing season.
The unfilled wire scroll window box, with zip ties around the upper rim. Ready for planting.
Three of the wire scroll window boxes, ready for summer.
Barbara E.'s herb window box, looking healthy, happy, and ready to withstand the summer elements.
Don't you love the herb markers Barbara E. has in her window box?
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Kayla Kayla on May 30, 2018

    I have the wire box and want to fill it. What is it lined with? I’m new!!

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  • Jill Clontz Jill Clontz on Feb 17, 2015
    These window boxes are so adorable! I have a challenge with mine though. Its the straw stuff you use to line those. It never fits right and then its really thin and that makes you have to layer which adds more cost to this planter. Then at the end of the summer it looks terrible because its been beat up by the weather. any suggestions on what to replace this with?
  • Wallace Gardens Wallace Gardens on Feb 17, 2015
    I have to replace the coconut liners once a year on all these planters. Unfortunately, it degrades with the weather, water and soil. I've found that lining the coconut liners with heavy black plastic (large trash bags, cut up) keeps them in better shape over the long run. Good luck.