White Oak Window Box

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Project by ayryq posted 06-24-2015 07:50 PM 1741 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a large window box I installed outside our kitchen window. It serves to hold herbs all spring and summer, maybe some mums in the fall, and collects snow in the winter.

It’s actually (basically) freestanding, on two posts (dodging a basement window and the air conditioner lines). There’s a couple of light shelf brackets to space it away from the brick but these don’t hold it “up,” just “level.” The posts are treated lumber, but the rest is white oak finished with spar varnish.

The frame is my first project involving mortise-and-tenon joinery, with beveled tenons meeting each other inside each post. The sides are all loose boards, ship-lapped. I cut a ton of those boards in random widths and then puzzled them together until I filled up all the sides just right. The bottom is open with a small lip on front and back; I lay a board across under each pot so drainage is no problem. I did figure though that I built it strong enough to actually fill the whole thing with soil. This isn’t so practical though; having individual pots for each herb works very well.

I actually finished this last summer. This summer I’ve got cilantro, thyme, oregano, parsley, and some salad greens all within arms reach of my kitchen (basil and rosemary are in a pot just outside the door on the patio, since they help discourage mosquitoes). Also this summer I added the box to my drip irrigation system—last year I watered with a can through the window.

Wow, that last picture shows more of my workshop than I’d like.

4 comments so far

View observer100's profile


476 posts in 2185 days

#1 posted 06-25-2015 12:44 AM

Very creative solution to the support situation! The ‘Can do!’ spirit is alive and well.

-- Seeing is believing.

View ohwoodeye's profile


2617 posts in 4228 days

#2 posted 06-30-2015 01:52 PM

I like the planters box but the support boards have to go. Fasten it to the house somehow to make it prettier.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 2251 days

#3 posted 06-30-2015 01:59 PM

Nice looking planter box!

I have considered adding them to my house but have not found an attractive way to securely mount them.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View ayryq's profile


95 posts in 3266 days

#4 posted 06-30-2015 02:03 PM

I wanted to be sure it could hold a LOT of weight. Drilling into brick wasn’t a great option, and it had to set out from the brick a bit anyhow, to clear the windowsill. Support boards weren’t a great choice either since I had so many obstacles, but they function very well, and for most of the summer they are completely hidden by foliage. I should add a picture showing what it looks like when I haven’t trimmed those bushes!

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