A year ago in this post I wrote about life in the Financial District, I lamented the lack of greenery in my neighborhood and fantasized about a future when our city is lush and green. Well instead of waiting for the world around me to change, I decided to take matters into my own hands and build my very own window garden! Inspired by this project from Martha Stewart Living, I added a glass shelf to my window sill and filled it with plants. It's actually a really simple project, but I cannot tell you how much of a difference it has made! The plants bring so much life and color to my home, and it makes me so happy to watch them grow and thrive. I swear to you've I've never been a plant person, so if I can do it, you can too! Keep reading for more pics, sourcing details, and instructions on how to make your very own window garden:
The first thing you need to do is carefully measure your window so you know what size glass shelf you will need. I have pretty deep windows, but I wanted to leave enough clear space in the back to move the roller shade up and down. I ordered a 1/2" thick, custom glass shelf from King David Gallery for about $50. The width of the glass is about 1/2" narrower than my window sill so there is enough room to slide it in place. I chose standard glass (as opposed to low-iron glass) because I actually like the greenish tint you see on the side of the glass.
Once the glass shelf is ready to go, you'll need to get some wooden supports to hold it in place. I picked up a piece of scrap wood at BIG Reuse Brooklyn. They cut 2 pieces for me the exact depth of my shelf, and drilled 3 holes in for screws. Then I painted them white with craft paint so they would blend into the window.
I had the handyman in my building screw the supports into the wall with a power drill. Be sure to countersink the screws so the heads don't show. I filled the screw holes with wood putty and added a final layer of touch-up paint. It's not 100% perfect, but it doesn't bother me at all. I think it looks great, and no one really notices the tiny flaws. (You can also put these little clear dots on the wooden supports to prevent the glass from scratching the surface.)
I picked up the clay pots from my local hardware store. They are super cheap (like $2 or so), and made in Italy. The copper watering can is 1960's vintage from Lonely Bear, and I love it so much. I chose it because it looks like a genie lamp. Most of the plants came from Whole Foods or The Sill. The Sill is great because the staff is super friendly and helpful. They hand-pick easy-to-care-for plants and teach you how to maintain them. Basically, they take the guess work out of plant shopping and make it really easy. I also got this air planter on Etsy to hang from the ceiling and give the arrangement a little height.
One of the most unexpected, but delightful surprises since adding my window shelf has been the rainbows that pop up all over my house. When the light shines through the shelf, it casts rainbows on my floors and walls that move throughout the day with the sun. I just love them and it makes the dining area feel so magical and special.
And that, my friends, is how I built the window garden of my dreams. It was super easy and affordable, and amazingly, it has turned me into a full-fledged plant mama. I hope you feel inspired to get started on a window garden of your own. If you do, please share some pics with me - I would love to see the result! Good luck and happy planting.