Planting Around Windows

window in front of green home with low shrubs below window and a small tree nearby with a bird feeder
This Florida-Friendly landscape has a casual, naturalistic feel, but still manages to keep the window clear, with low-growing shrubs underneath and a small tree nearby with bird feeders to attract wildlife.

Every home and its garden are different, but there are some general guidelines in landscape design. These principles can be especially helpful when designing your plantings around and close to windows, which can be a challenge for some gardeners.We have a few tips to help you achieve your aesthetic goals when planting near a window.

Framing the windows with plants gives you an unobstructed view out of the window. Using evergreen dwarf or low-growing plants will keep views clean and aesthetically pleasing, while maintaining the security of your home.

As with any landscape planning, be aware of the mature size your plants will reach and choose ones that are not going to get too tall or spread too much for your area. Use plants with a medium mature height and compact growth habits; this will give you an unobstructed view outside.

Select evergreen and long-flowering plants to ensure that the view out of your window is always colorful and visually appealing.

Select plants that have a neat growth habit and plant them far enough away from the house that you still have room to walk between your home and the plants. This is to ensure access to the house and windows for cleaning and hanging storm shutters. Planting your shrubs outside the eave line also ensures that they can receive rain water.

Consider safety. Avoid plants that have stiff or thorny leaves or stems, in case you ever need to exit the window in an emergency. Alternatively, some people choose spiky plants for under a window to deter intruders or to keep adolescent children from sneaking out. Speaking of intruders, be sure that your plants will not form a thick screen that someone could hide behind.

If you are looking for plants to purposely screen your window, either for privacy or to block a view, select ones with loose foliage and flexible branches. This will allow you to still see past the plants and out your window, while providing you with privacy from anyone who might be passing by your house.

When planting remember to layer plants by height, with the tallest-growing plants closest to the house and lower-growing plants and groundcovers planted farther away from the house.

In addition to ornamental plants and shrubs, consider a small tree can be planted near a window to provide shade and possibly even a home for wildlife.

Also on Gardening Solutions