Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

Nasranium June 29, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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Two's companySometimes nature throws up odd combinations and weird things happen. In the case of Joel you might be able to make out from the picture that a nasturtium and geranium have created a symbiotic relationship – or maybe it’s parasitic, time will tell.

Basically the nasturtium has climbed between the geranium leaves and the two plants are completely intertwined. At first glance the nasturtium leaves look like the geranium with the off-centre spot and radiating veins. But over the last few days they have just got bigger and bigger – they’re the size of small saucers now and showing no signs of letting up – and they don’t have the pretty red markings of the geranium or the puffier, pillow-like quality. (more…)


Picture Post – Marilyn June 27, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Review,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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In the beginningHere’s a little photo show plotting the progress of my newest window box. Made with a old plastic container I originally bought before I realised just how big my window ledges actually are. It looked oddly out of place so I bought some bigger deeper boxes and this got used as storage for a few months.

When I realised I’d overbought in the plant department it seemed like an ideal time to press this box back into service. And the bathroom ledge is smaller so it doesn’t look so out of place there.



New Addition June 25, 2009

Filed under: Accessories,Colour,Flower,Info,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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Livingstone Daisies

Livingstone Daisies

In late May when there were still gaps in some of the window boxes and it didn’t look like my nursery was going to provide any help the call of the garden centres became too much. As is the case when you food shop on an empty stomach and end up buying far more than you need, the same is true of plant shopping.

Having looked around my favourite garden centre the temptation to buy a couple of different plants was too much, even though I knew I really only needed six or eight plants to fill all the gaps.

After using all I needed this gave me about half a dozen Livingstone Daisies spare along with a couple of bright pink trailing petunias. As I was rooting about in my gardening box I remembered that I had a spare container that had been my first purchase last year. However I hadn’t ended up using it as it was much shallower and smaller than the ledges needed. (more…)


Micro Management June 23, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,pests,Summer,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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Miniature GardenBecause my garden is constantly within reach and the maximum amount of effort required to get to it is the strength to open a window, there’s a great temptation to interfere with mother nature.

As I have a minor aphid problem that’s normally how it starts. I’ll look at the plants to see how everything is doing then I’ll notice some aphids hiding like a column of camouflaged squaddies out on patrol.

The brachycome and verbena are particularly prone to this and once you find one group it’s only a matter of time before others become apparent, hiding under leaves and making their headquarters near the base.

With those taken care of a bit of deadheading looks like a good idea. Then you notice that the aster is being overrun by the petunia so a bit of rearranging sorts that out. Then the geranium seems to be producing lots more leaves and you’ve read that pinching those out can help the plant strengthen and so produce more flowers so you do that.

And before you know it you’ve spent an hour going round the various window boxes, repeating the actions and generally trying to improve on nature. It’s at this point that you think maybe just sitting down with a nice cup of tea and letting the plants do their own thing (which is what they’ll do anyway) is probably a better idea – well, maybe I’ll just get rid of those aphids first… and untangle those nasturtiums …


Season 2 June 21, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Review,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 4:14 pm
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Two Trailing Petunias and Geraniums

It was around this time last year that I got the notion to have some window boxes. I didn’t have any idea that it would end up taking so much of my time, that I would start blogging about it or that I would learn (and enjoy) it so much. Really, how difficult could it be to have a few flowers on a window ledge?

The reality is that it’s as difficult as you want it to be.

If you’d just like something pretty to look at over the summer months then a visit to the garden centre, a couple of hours of prep and planting and ten minutes every couple of days to water and you’ll be fine.

On the other hand if you’d like to try for year-round colour and would prefer to avoid buying everything ‘ready-made’ then you’ll have to give it a lot more time and attention. But even then it will be interesting, rewarding and satisfyingĀ  just so long as you’re prepared for the occasional set-back along with all the success.

And a small final point. When I started this blog late last year I had to keep looking to borrow other people’s photographs to brighten the place up. Now I’m lucky if I use a tenth of the pictures I take!


Verbena June 19, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Summer,Weather — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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VerbenaThe weather’s been good for the last month and almost everything has had a chance to really bed in. Which is fortunate because the dreaded wind has made a return.

We’re not near to gale force yet but already anything that’s grown a little leggy had been gently reminded that hunkering down isn’t such a bad idea – even in summer.

The lovely candy stripe trailing verbena (pictured) have lived a charmed life and have been pushed back down to soil level. This might be ok if they decide to learn their lesson and grow over the box edge and head south.

The petunia surfinia have been flowering constantly for a couple of weeks and crawling into every available space. They’ve managed to provide some good ground cover and they too might be persuaded over the edge. If the wind hadn’t returned I might have started to pinch them back as they’re taking over a bit.

Still the decision to get everything planted while the weather was good has proved worthwhile and even if the wind strengthens there’s a good chance of survival for most plants.


Staying Buzzy June 15, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Summer,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 6:15 pm
Mine .... all MINE

Mine .... all MINE

Rubbish pun but I had some visitors to the garden this weekend and managed to capture one as it made its way around the superstore.

Those of you with a aversion to bees or insect photographs might want to look away now although they were so small and pics taken from a comfortable distance that there’s not much to bother anyone. (more…)