A Window Garden with Shelves

We’ve all been stuck indoors too long.  It’s February and here in TN we should be getting 50 degree temperatures for highs but instead are stuck in the lower 30’s or below.  In order to help alleviate the cabin fever and feed the gardening fix I put together a little project for one of our upstairs windows.  I built a pair of shelves that sit in the window clinging to two show rods.  It’s a relatively easy project to accomplish with the right tools and the right window.  All of the materials were furnished by Lowe’s Creative Ideas.

First it is important to have the right window for this.  We have windows with a 6″ sill good for setting plants on anyway but something as small as 3″ inches would work fine.  For materials I used 1 1″x6″ piece of poplar that was 8ft. long, 4 rubber lined clamps (2 at 3/4 inch and 2 at 1″),  2 shower rods, and a couple screws and nuts to fit the clamps.  The shower rods need to be able to extend long enough to hold tightly vertically in the window while still short enough to fit the window.  Take some window measurements before you go to Lowe’s.

For tools I used a screw driver, a miter saw, and a hole saw kit.  The hole saw kit is pretty nifty.  You fit the bit on the end of your drill (which I used a drill too) make a mark on your board then drill with the center of the hole saw bit on your mark.  The bit will gradually make a nice evenly sized hole right where you want it.

One tip for using the hole saw: 
When the pilot bit gets through the other side of the hole flip the board over and make another hole from the other side.  If you don’t you may take a small sliver of wood from the sides of the hole when you drill all the way through.  Also these bits get hot fast so be sure to stop every now and then to let them cool.  

After gathering the materials I measured the ends of my shower rods. The small section had a 7/8″ diameter while the large section had a 1″ diameter. The smallest size hole saw bit I had was 1″ so the clamps became critical to hold up the shelves. Then I measured the width of the windows and determined a length of 41.5 inches per shelf.  I also measured from the window to determine where I wanted the holes in each shelf to be.  From the back side of the board I make a mark at 2 1/4″ and from each side 4″.  Then I made the holes with the hole saw.

Next I slipped off the rubber ends of the show curtain rods and slid the shelves onto the smaller diameter end. Then I fit the shower rods and boards in the window.  The 1″ holes rest on top of the larger diameter end of the hole. Once I twisted the show rods to position them tightly in the window I added the clamps to hold each shelf tightly into place.

More shelves could be added if desired but I chose to only do two positioned toward the top of the window so that I could easily open the window up when I need to without have to move everything around.

I would have liked to stain the shelves or even paint them to look nicer but the weather outside has been too cold to do either activity.  That part will just have to wait until warmer days!

I filled up the window with some colorful indoor plants.  Including a really cool coral cactus that mimics structures in the coral reef, two bromeliads, a sago palm, and an aloe plant.  The plant shelves will help to do some of my seed starting activities this year.

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About Dave

Dave has written GrowingTheHomeGarden.com since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

One Comment

  1. Winters are long & window gardens are wonderful!

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