box is a great way to add color and natural beauty to the front of a home,
but did you ever stop to wonder where these decorations came from and when? The
history of window boxes is longer than you may have realized, and if you have
them, you are keeping up with an old and treasured tradition.
Where Do Window Boxes Come From?
The original window boxes were probably seen in ancient
Rome. In this crowded city, many people lived in small homes, one on top of the
other, much like we have apartments today. These lower-class citizens didn’t have
yards or a lot of money. So a window box was an economical way to grow some
food with limited space.
Window box planters through the years have evolved from that
Roman practicality to more decorative uses. Wealthier Romans and other people
through history have used window boxes and planters to make their homes more
attractive. Also, window boxes expanded into terrace and rooftop
gardens to make the most of city spaces and sunlight.
Window Boxes from Ancient Times to the Present
The history of window boxes began with ancient
civilizations, but those people had a good idea that has persisted to the
modern day. People throughout urban centers of Europe continued to use window
box planters to grow herbs, vegetables, and medicinal plants, and wealthy
residents continued to use them for decorative purposes.
It was really in the Victorian era, though, that planters
took off and became ubiquitous. This time period saw more mass production of
all kinds of things, including pots and planters. More people could afford
window boxes made of terracotta or metal. They used them to plant flowers as
well as herbs and veggies, both for practical uses and for decorative.
Window boxes traveled to the New World with colonists and
other settlers, and they prove to be popular even now. Some types of
architecture are particularly suited to colorful plantings in window boxes, and
you’ll see them all over the old buildings of New Orleans’ French Quarter; the
older homes of Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia; and Victorian
homes throughout the U.S.
Today, you can buy any style of pre-made window box at
affordable prices. You can also make your own simple planters out of wood. Use
them to add color to your home or to grow kitchen plants if you have limited
space, just like the ancient Romans did.