If you’re looking to get a little closer to nature than a jog through the Ramble this spring, bring some plant life into your home with a window-box garden. Scott D. Appell, director of education for the Horticultural Society of New York, recommends Town and City Garden, written by experts at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens ($6.95; to order, call 718-623-7286), as an excellent beginner’s resource. For supplies, Appell heads out to Hicks Nurseries (100 Jericho Turnpike, Westbury, Long Island; 516-334-0066). “Less than an hour drive from New York, Hicks has a wide selection, unusual flowers, and better prices than you’ll find in Manhattan,” he says. Load your cart with potting soil (Appell likes Farfard) and water-soluble fertilizer. For planters with lots of sunlight, he suggests dwarf sunflowers, zinnias, and marigolds; flowers such as impatiens, tuberous begonias, and torenia are vibrant alternatives for northern exposures. Even if your blossoms can’t go petal-to-petal with those from the Conservatory Garden, they’ll still add a little color to your life.