Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

The Last Post January 24, 2010

Filed under: bulbs,Seeds,Spring,Summer,Weather,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 11:18 pm
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If you’ve been tracking this blog you’ll have noticed the gaps between postings have grown. Which is more than can be said for anything in the garden! That’s a little unfair as, despite the deep freeze, the tips of the first spring bulbs have somehow poked their way through the soil.

Rather than feel bad about not being able to give this the attention it deserves I’m putting it into its own deep freeze and leaving the last year’s postings for posterity. (more…)

 

Time for Change November 24, 2009

Filed under: Autumn,bulbs,Colour,Flower,Spring,Weather,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 3:48 pm
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The JungleAfter scouring the garden centres for whatever they had left in that difficult period between autumn planting and the Christmas extravaganza it was time to make the best of a bad job. As I had left it a little late I had to make do with some unusual shrubs to go along with the primroses, pansies and violas.

Having gathered the new winter plants the real job was to clean out the boxes from the overgrown jungles they had become and prepare them for their new additions. This was not an easy job but anything worth doing is worth putting the time and effort into.

Over the week I faithfully took each box in from its ledge, cut back the overgrown and rotting foliage (which had looked great in summer!) and then forked out the roots and remaining foliage. (more…)

 

Full Circle November 11, 2009

Filed under: Autumn,bulbs,Flower,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 1:01 pm
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It’s apt that this post comes without a picture as it’s the lack of photography that’s slowed the blog posts down to barely a drip.

As each window box developed it’s own eco-system it got harder to keep track of what was happening and although there were plenty of changes it was too easy to think that they looked much the same as the previous week. This was a mistake of course. Had I kept taking the pictures each week the changes would have been obvious and there would have been a nice record of the rise and fall of the window garden.

Unfortunately I didn’t do this and so the blog slowed down as a consequence.

Since summer when I was able to bask in the glory of my earlier planning (everything from spring bulbs to seed planting produced results) it’s been a little depressing to think about the impending winter and almost a complete restart of the process. Watching the slow degredation of the plants that had provided such a lovely display was almost too much. But by this weekend the state of the boxes had become too bad even for me to leave any longer.

A visit to the garden centres on the weekend demonstrated that I had procrastinated far longer than I realised. Instead of pansies and cyclamen there was just aisle after aisle of (whisper it!) Christmas trees! Multiple journeys to other shops all resulted in the same scene. Where had all the bulbs gone?! Was I really much more prepared last year? How is it November already?

With little to choose from a bit of creativity was required so instead of pretty frost-resistant cyclamen there will be fingers-crossed primroses. Violas instead of pansies, and some unusual shrubby type Ajuga, Calocephalus and Cineraria. If anything it will at least be interesting to see what survives!

And in a month or so it will be time to look out the seed packets and get planning again for those warmer longer days when the flowers are in full bloom and the feet can be put up.

Addendum: Having had a quick look back I see that I started this blog around the same time last year but that I had done the winter planting in September! No wonder there was nothing left in the garden centres!!

 

Weekend Work September 18, 2009

Filed under: Autumn,Flower,pests,Summer,Watering,Weather,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 12:40 pm
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The JungleBless the summer for its long days, warm temperatures and reliable ability to never live up to expectations. Childhood summers were much hotter, longer and drier, weren’t they? (I’m actually sure they weren’t but the collective consciousness suggests otherwise – or at least the mass media do).

In window-box gardening this means that with a minimal amount of care and attention (regular watering, occasional feeding) you too can end up with a small jungle within arms reach.

But all good things must come to an end. Finally having a bit of spare time to really get stuck in and have a good look at what was going on outside my window it was on with the gardening gloves and out with the secateurs. And boy, was there some work needing done! (more…)

 

Logistics September 1, 2009

Filed under: Autumn,Colour,Flower,Summer,Weather — northernwindowgardener @ 12:45 pm
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GeraniumI’ve been putting off writing the next post because it’s undeniable that summer is on the way out and that means that all the planning, nurturing and growing will, in time, follow it out too.

It had started to become more obvious about two weeks ago when previously lush foliage started to look a little limp and yellow. At first it’s just the odd leaf, which in growing season is not surprising anyway. But then day-by-day you notice that it’s a couple of leaves. Then a few more flowers than normal. Then the drooping foliage that used to perk up after a good watering no longer looks so perky.

At this point you realise that the long daylight (sometimes sunny, sometimes not – but always light) days are waning and the extensive growth can no longer be sustained. It might be that some of the plants, like the ever-spreading petunias, would have benefitted from a helping hand in the form of a harsh chop back, just to reduce the amount of growth they have to sustain with the dwindling resources available to them.

In essence this is what it comes down to; a problem with logistics. Like a rampaging army that outruns its supply chain, they simply need to fall back and consolidate the ground they’ve made. Although for this little army of flowers they will slowly but surely be pushed back until nothing remains.

It’s amazing what a few minutes less light, a little less heat and a bit more wind can do. I’ll post the pics when I get the courage!

 

A View with a Room August 7, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Indoor,Seeds,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 11:58 am
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Street ViewFinally remembered to take the camera out with me to get a few pictures of the window boxes from street level. As you can see (hopefully) they’re too overflowing to turn around from inside any more so they’ll stay like this until the frosts come back and it’s time for the winter clothes to return. After spending the first few months thinking months ahead now I’m trying to do the opposite and just live in the moment – dismissing all thought of colder, shorter days.

The pictures below show just how much the nasturtiums have taken over. They were all planted directly into the boxes from seed after my idea of transplanting from seedlings proved to be a failure. Seeing how quickly they’ve grown now however I know that next year I don’t need to worry about getting them off to an early start. (more…)

 

Sing a Rainbow July 29, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 8:47 am
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I was looking at all the colours in my windowboxes as I did my near daily inspection, and this little kids song popped into my head. Isn’t it odd that thoughts that have remained dormant for so long can suddenly be brought to life. The mind is truly a weird, wonderful and unbelievably complicated thing.

Red

Geranium

(more…)

 

 
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