I have a decidedly non-green thumb. After years of losing every plant I tried to maintain, I'd pretty much thrown in the towel until last summer when I moved into my new apartment which has window boxes. I didn't want to let the building down by having brown, scraggly plants so I did research on what would be really likely to survive — in a container, in this climate and (the poor things!) in my care. Turns out choosing a practically guaranteed no-fail plant was the way to go — the plantings made it through the winter and are still going strong (and growing!) one year later. In my case, a little bit of internet research showed that small boxwood plants would be a good choice for my window boxes. Aside from giving the facade a slightly formal and green year-round look that I like, they work well in containers, are ultra hearty, can survive the cold temps and don't require lots of maintenance. I feel ridiculously proud of their survival and now can be found carefully watering and fussing over them (for a total of 10 minutes - its a pretty small garden!) each weekend.
The lesson? If you've been unsuccessful with plantings in the past but are interested in adding some green growing things to your life (and no, that old cheese in the back of your fridge doesn't count) don't fear, just be sure to go with the easy, hearty stuff! We all need to start somewhere and stacking the deck in your favor when it comes to choosing plants is a wise way to go.
Here are a good selection of posts on practically fool-proof plant projects to get you going, build your confidence and teach those of us with (formerly!) non-green thumbs a thing or two: