Make your own festive window box

Nov 10, 2020

By Veronica 

A step-by-step guide to planting and decorating a Christmas trough

After the gloomy days of November, nothing is more uplifting than to see the streets lighting up, announcing the start of the Christmas countdown and the beginning of the festive season.

So let’s do our part, and cheer up the atmosphere with beautiful windows and some winter glow.


What you need for this project:

  • A window box, here we used the balcony trough.
  • Multipurpose compost
  • Colourful plants: Cyclamen
  • Berried plants: Skimmia and Gaultheria
  • Other Evergreens: Euonymus and trailing ivy here
  • Christmas decorations: Baubles, Stars, etc (well, anything you like really!)
  • Floristry picks, they add body to the arrangement.
  • Off cuts of conifer
  • Battery operated lights
  • Heavy duty wire
  • Gloves
  • Secateurs and snips
  • And Santa! But he is only to bring the Christmas cheer 😉 


  1. Start by filling up the trough with multipurpose compost. As it is a shallow pot, there is no need for added drainage but if you are potting up a large pot, then you will need to add stones or crockery at the bottom.

2. Place your tallest plants in the middle, and the colourful ones on the sides. Make sure, if you use cyclamens, that the top of the bulb is not covered by compost. This will prevent rotting.

Symmetry or not? Well, it is really up to you! If you are new to this, it might be easier to make something symmetrical starting from the middle, one side being the exact reflection of the other. It is also possible to choose different plants with similar colours instead.

3. Dividing plants.

When you pot up a window box, you might need to divide some plants (only when there are several plugs in one pot, of course). Indeed, troughs can be narrow so it will be easier to fit the plants in.

Hold the root ball firmly, and pull apart gently with your thumbs.

  1. Once all your plants are in place, you can add your cut foliage. Here, we used leylandii branches (from the hedge)., but any evergreen is good.

Insert them at the front, just under the leaves, allowing them to droop a bit for a natural look.


Add a few upright ones at the back and between the plants so it doesn’t look like a crown around the window box .

Add other natural elements such as pinecones.


5. Add the festive elements. Use heavy duty wire to make a ‘stem’ and make a loop on both ends as this will prevent the decoration from falling off.

Don’t be afraid to add large elements, they will give the WOW effect (here stars).

6. Intertwine the lights in the foliage for a natural, discreet effect.

And Ta-Da!

After that, you surely deserve a glass of mulled wine! 🙂


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