Garden Flaws: How to Improve Aluminum Windows Blocking Your Complete Garden Vision


Our home was built in 1911, and during the last 100 years, some things have been changed. Sometimes these changes don’t sit well with the real integrity of the house, and for me, one of these many beefs I have is with the aluminum windows on the back of the house. They just don’t fit in with the rest.

Originally, the back of the house had a large sun porch and a butler’s pantry. Much later, the wall between these rooms was removed, the door to the kitchen was covered up, and the large windows were replaced with these cheap aluminum ones. I love the extra back room, and the lack of kitchen storage space is something we deal well with, but the windows drive me nuts.

In a perfect world, I’d replace them and put back the appropriate windows, but this is not that world. Usually, each summer I hide the windows with plants from the outside, and this year is no exception. I intend to grow all of my Christmas cacti in these old hoops soon. The sight of the plants is almost always distracting when you have them all hanging in a row, but what about a solution? I need a solution I can afford!

Then I noticed this amazing window treatment at the Portland Japanese Garden last weekend at their annual plant sale while I was standing in line. It’s brilliant and I think it would look great! Our garden is a mess right now, and it is hard to see all of this clearly through the debris, but I think this is the new plan.

Don’t you agree? (I should add that we have plenty of other Japanese elements in the garden and this might actually begin to tie them all together. So often the details are so easily overlooked.)

6 thoughts on “Garden Flaws: How to Improve Aluminum Windows Blocking Your Complete Garden Vision

  1. The sale was great! We took a 10yo foster boy with us and he later soothed his anxiety and stress from the sale by helping us in the garden for three hours!! He is always welcome in my house!!

    I bought:
    2 huge white spider mums
    Speirantha convallarioides-evergreen lily-like thing with scented flowers (Joy Creek)
    Salix-creeping alpine from Japan (Joy Creek)
    Two very slow-growing and low evergreen ground covering shrubs
    Begonia hemsleyana-hardy (Cistus)
    Thalictrum ichangense 'Evening Star' (Cistus)
    Aucuba-with really narrow leaves (Cistus)


  2. I do agree with your planned treatment. It should be a delightful way of turning a visual liability into a feature. And it looks like you had a magnificent “take” from the sale. Can't wait for the photos to start showing up 🙂


  3. I think your window solution is clever! Not many people I know can afford significant home improvement projects. My 1924 built home sure has a few (ok, so it's actually a long list) things that need changed! I agree with Catherine, show pics 🙂


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