Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

Weekend Work April 5, 2009

Filed under: bulbs,Colour,Flower,Spring,Watering,Weather,Weekend Work,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 11:17 pm
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ChrisLots of yellow in the garden at the moment . A little bit of blue as well, not all of it entirely natural and as this picture shows, not all of it mine!

The weekend was all about tidying up and seeing what was left after the windy weather over the past week. I should say that it’s not been really nasty, just bad enough for the tulips to take a beating.

The lovely row of crocuses (I’ve had a full on dictionary arguement with myself and will stick with this plural form for the time being 😉 ) all fell over during the week so they got removed. Not sure if this is just nature or my old watering problems but seeing as the flowers in the municipal displays have retreated I’m absolving myself of blame for now. The remaining foliage is actually quite pretty in it’s own way and without the flowers I noticed the silver stripe up the thin leaves for the first time.

The tulips on the windy side of the house have all lost their blooms – they look like miniture swingball poles without them – so those two boxes look a bit peculiar. The leaves are still quite lovely though so I think they’ll stay there until I know what I’m doing next. Or once I’ve properly read about what to do with tulips – I’m guessing the bulbs can be used again next year? Perhaps letting the foliage die back is better though as with daffodils? Ah, so much still to learn.

Anyway the tulips were quite beautiful while the lasted but they haven’t really lasted long. The ones at the less wind-prone side are mostly still going strong so I wonder again if I’ve inadvertantly played my part in their destruction. I was initially quite lucky with the weather (they grew and flowered in unseasonably warm conditions) and then suffered from the usual spring wind and rain.

Otherwise the anemone continue to flower, mostly blue/purple but there are a few white flowers as well. The winter pansy has really blossomed almost without me noticing. It gets deadheaded at the weekend and seems to respond well – the foliage is spreading out as well and covering the bare parts of the window box which is quite attractive.

There is a nice contrast between the bright yellow of the pansy and the blue anemone. These simple colour combinations are totally unplanned but along with the purple/green crocus/ivy contrast in the other box they’ve given me some idea of what I like in terms of colour. It might still be too much for me to incorporate this into my summer display (I was going to go for totally scattergun and random as a planting scheme) but it’s been an eye-opener (literally!) to see how effective simple two-colour contrasts are.

The one dud over winter has been the aconite bulbs. One bright yellow flower came in early March and I expected it to be followed by others but alas, that was all that came. I’m not complaining after the pleasure the tulip, crocus and anemone have given but I might have a bit of a search to see why the aconite failed to put in a show this spring. It might have helped if I knew where they were planted of course!


2 Responses to “Weekend Work”

  1. Flighty Says:

    My dictionary shows it as crocuses. Your comment about the silver striped leaves is interesting as foliage is often overlooked.
    Let any bulb foliage die back before removing it.
    There’s a lot to said for having a simple two colour combination although some people do like the scatter-gun effect.
    It may well not have been a good year for aconites as I don’t recollect seeing any this year!

  2. Thanks for the tips Flighty – it’s always good to get the benefits of someone else’s experience on these things.
    I think the colour issue is a step too far for me this year. I’m still finding out what works where and with so many other variables it’s the colour scheme that will suffer. I’m hoping some accidental pairing might give me something I can repeat in future years.

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