Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

Geraniums February 27, 2009

Filed under: Autumn,Colour,Flower,Seeds,Spring,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 1:26 pm
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GeraniumJumping head (feet? hands?) first into gardening-lite last year meant that I hit pretty hard against the steep learning curve, if that’s not too much of a mixed metaphor.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I threw together a whole bunch of flowers last year and left them to sort themselves out. This way I’d see which would work and which wouldn’t.

What did I learn? Well, I might still be figuring that out. As an example of this confusion most of the Lobelia were in a shady area that gets morning sun and they didn’t fare well – except one that really caught hold in autumn and looked lovely until the first frosts came.

So while it seems sensible not to put it there the one success makes me think that if they’re planted earlier they might all have a chance of looking good. Hence, the seed tray has lobelia seeds in it! (more…)


Seed watch – week 3 February 25, 2009

Filed under: Flower,Indoor,Seeds,Spring,Watering,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 4:28 pm
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GeraniumsBlessed are the geraniums, for they know not when to stop.

I’m 10 out of 10 on geranium seedlings so I think I can rightly call myself an expert now. Any geranium problems? Just drop me an email 😉

Ah! If only it was that easy, yes? They are making great progress though and, while it may only be fleeting, there’s a small sense of satisfaction.

As I mentioned in a comment, I started the seeds a bit early, partly out of being impetuous, but also in case I messed things up (highly likely) and needed some time to try again. So far though the first batch are doing quite well and I’m starting to think about how I’ll pot them on and when to start the next batch. I have other seeds like nasturtiums and … well, I forget the rest(!) that I’d like to try and they suggested planting more towards March and April. It will only become more confusing and disorganised from here I can assure you. (more…)


The Price of Colour February 24, 2009

Starter KitIt’s time for an admission. I have a small addiction. One that I’d like to share with you. I’m not proud of it you understand. No no. But it does come in handy.

I keep count of EVERYTHING I spend on the garden.

Yes. I know. I shouldn’t. The cost isn’t important is it? What’s that about the price of everything and value of nothing? Well, I hope there’s a balance that can be struck between those two.



Bulb Watch February 23, 2009

Filed under: bulbs,Colour,Flower,Spring,Weather,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 11:18 pm
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Spring bulbsI need to think of better names than bulb & seed watch for these posts. They do sum up how much time I spend just looking for signs of growth though!

I love this picture of an early crocus. It looks like the flower has been carefully hand wrapped to protect it until it’s warm enough for it to bloom.

The mild weather of the last week has meant excellent growing conditions and all over the window boxes there are green shoots and … well, I’m sure there’s a proper gardening word for them, but tulip shoots rising inches into the spring air and little anemone blanda buds swelling up, ready to burst forth.OK, I’m going over the top here, but it’s nice to see a bit of growth about the place after spending most gardening moments over the winter cutting things back and generally seeing decay everywhere.


Seed watch – week 2 February 20, 2009

Filed under: Indoor,Seeds,Spring,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 1:27 pm
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Geraniums and othersThis was a picture I took last weekend when the weather had turned mild and thoughts of spring started to seem relevant.

The geraniums on the left have really done nicely so far with eight of the ten coming through although I’m positive one has managed to grow upside down (bottom left if you can make it out). Really, I’m sure I’m not making this up but will try to get a proper photo to prove it!

As for the others, the verbena has had two seeds come through then drop back. The marigold has a couple of seedlings doing ok but maybe they’re a bit stringy. A couple of others seemed to come then stopped. (more…)


Weekend Work February 19, 2009

Filed under: bulbs,Colour,Flower,Seeds,Spring,Weather,Weekend Work,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 5:42 pm
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Winter PansyAdmit it. You’re fed up looking at different pictures of the same winter pansies, aren’t you. I mean they are nice, and any colour at this time of year can’t be bad? Yes? But, oh, for a little bit of variety. No?

As the cold dark days have progressed the plants have split into two camps. Those that are hardy enough to keep going despite the difficult conditions (see Pansy, Cyclamen, Ivy). And those that have gently and serenely succumbed (hmm, see Pansy, Cyclamen). We won’t make mention of the third lot that didn’t even try a lick! You know who you are!!

So while I’m spending a lot of time ‘thinking‘ about the garden, there’s not really a lot of ‘doing‘ going on. Maybe this is better for all of us. All these plans and no reality to burst in and doom them.

But, no. Soon enough the temperatures will stay comfortably above freezing, the seeds will have sprouted and be looking for a new home and the garden centres will be full of those tempting little bedding plants that are oh so cheap – until you get to the checkout with a trolley full. Really! How much?! Do you take Visa?

Best to put this daydreaming time to good use I think and get those plans written down. Hmmmm!


Bulb Watch February 18, 2009

Filed under: bulbs,Spring,Weather,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 5:15 pm
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Tulip BulbBusy busy busy. Where does the time go? Is that enough of an excuse for not posting for a couple of days?

Well, it looks like I was wrong about this being mid-winter! Spring has sprung. Bulbs are visibly sprouting and growing taller each day. Isn’t it amazing what four days of mild weather can do?

I can see from a few other blogs and websites that the early flowers like snowdrops are in bloom in the south of the country. I generally think we are about two to three weeks behind in the north at this time of year so perhaps if the weather stays above freezing we could be seeing the first spring flowers in the next couple of weeks. Won’t that be nice!