Green Window Treatments for Spring Flair

Drapes, blinds, sheers… when it comes to redoing your window decor, you always have the same basic choices. Why not strike out in a completely different direction and go green? Not the recycling and carbon footprints type of going green, but literally going green, with plants. There are two basic reasons to cover a window: to block the light or view and to decorate a room. A collection of plants in specialized planters will do this as well as any traditional window treatment, and can give an environmental bonus for any room it occupies.

Different Styles

The basic look begins with dressing windows with valances, then filling in all the space below with greenery. This gives the room a finished look with a lot of interesting detail. The choice of valance design depends on the room in which you’re working and the types of plants growing in the window. A bright and cheery kitchen window will benefit from airy lace curtains, giving it a lighter, more feminine look. A larger living room window calls for a more substantial look such as a scarf valance that frames the entire window opening. And almost any window would benefit from a straight fabric valance in a pattern that fits the room decor.

Types of Plants

Two basic types of plantings work well with this window project: small potted plants and vines. The small potted plants work especially well in the kitchen as you can use the space to grow cooking herbs. Imagine picking fresh oregano and parsley from your window to put into your marinara sauce, and relaxing at the end of the day with a cup of fresh mint tea. Rosemary, lemon grass, and other small herb plants grow just as well as window dressing.

The other way to naturally fill a window space is to grow vines and twine them around something to fill in the opening. Philodendron plants are a natural for this, as they’ll grow in almost any household and are notoriously tough for even beginners to kill. They’ll grow for years and just keep getting longer, as long as they’re well cared for. A more unusual choice is a throwback to the last century: the sweet potato vine. Mothers and grandmothers used to root a part of a sweet potato to create a vine for kitchen window decoration. It’s an attractive plant, and surprisingly easy to care for.

How to Do It

Potted plants work best to fill the space with a double row system. Place the first and larger row of plants on the windowsill itself. Make sure each plant has drainage and a saucer or tray to catch any draining water. Install a clear glass shelf halfway up the window and place the second tier of planters on this. Coordinate the color of the planters with the window valance for a pulled-together look.

For vines, all you need is a simple support system. Tack rows of fishing line vertically along the length of the window. Place the pots on the windowsill and train the vines to grow up the lines.

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