Last weekend, for Memorial Day, I prepared and planted my deck window boxes. I usually give the wicker boxes a coat of fresh paint, and then fill and plant them. Since they are made of wicker, I usually do not fill the entire box with potting soil, as it would be too heavy and is not required for root development of annual plants. For non-gardeners, you might notice that roots of annuals never seem to grow very deep, since they are basically disposed of seasonally. So, having about 2-3 inches of soil for annuals, is more than adequate for a summer of growth.
I usually like to fill the base of my wicker planter with lightweight material, such as recyclable foam peanuts. I place plastic over the peanuts to protect them from the soil. It makes for a much easier clean-up in September. Others use light weight wire or even cardboard to fill the dead space. Then, I place my soil on top of the plastic, which also allows for the plants to be a higher level in the planter, allowing for easy cascading of the spiller plantings.
I like to choose a flowering plant, along with a couple of plants which will fill and spill over the sides of the wicker box. I have used many combinations over the years, and always seem to be happy with my choices. This year I chose a compact white Lofos for my white flowering plant, and stock for my tall focal point. My deck has sunlight for part of the day, and some later afternoon shade. Be sure to choose the right plant for the right sunlight exposure.
I also like to top the soil with some moss to prevent soil splashing when watering. A little bit goes a long way, and gives a finished look to the planter.
I always enjoy seeing the pretty window boxes when I travel to Northern Michigan and love having them at my house as well.