Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

TV or not TV? June 13, 2009

Filed under: Info,Review — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am

Gratuitous Chrysanth PhotoThose of you in the UK will probably be familiar with the BBC programme, Gardeners’ World. As someone who can only claim a recent and passing interest in gardening I hadn’t appreciated what an institution the show was… or just how sharply it divides opinion. Any gardening forum seems to have a space reserved just for saying why they dislike this incarnation of the programme and how previous editions used to be better.

The Guardian newspaper’s website has had a couple of goes at giving their opinion on the show this year and sure enough, opinion is still divided.

In Scotland we have the Beechgrove Garden which is a more genteel and shorter show but I find is closer to my tastes. Both are worth watching and given the amount of ground (pun intended!) they try to cover I don’t quite get to the stage of wanting to throw things at the tv or write angry letters as some do, but then gardening (if we can call a few window boxes that) is just something I enjoy doing and that I don’t take too seriously.

Pehaps when the garden is your pride and joy and becomes an extension of your view of yourself you can get a bit more prickly about someone telling you “what’s hot and what’s not” about gardening.


Links June 12, 2009

Filed under: Info — northernwindowgardener @ 1:20 pm

Just a wee apology. Somehow and sometime over the last few days the links section disappeared from my blog. Just noticed it was gone yesterday so it’s been restored.

If you have any other interesting links for me to add just drop me an email or post a comment.


Picture Post – Chris

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Seeds,Spring,Summer,Watering — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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Looking poorlyAfter the initial planting Chris was left with lots of small seedlings and not much chance of growth.



Shop v. Seed June 11, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Seeds,Spring,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:25 am
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Hot Pink PetuniaA few weeks ago as I was preparing to plant everything up I thought I’d end up with about 80% home grown and 20% shop bought. There were some plants I just hadn’t been able to find seed for (not that I was trying too hard – I had enough to be getting on with given this was my first time!) like petunia surfinia (a trailing petunia), bacopa and trailing verbena. But having had a fair amount of success with seeds I thought that my crop would be enough to fill my boxes handsomely.

When it came to plant everything it still seemed like that split would be about right. But once everything was planted up and it became apparent that some of them were likely to be hit and miss (the aster and sweet pea in particular looked like they had a 50/50 chance of survival) and some of the boxes looked a bit bare. (more…)


Keeping Up Appearances June 10, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Seeds,Spring,Summer,Weather — northernwindowgardener @ 2:56 pm
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JoelDoesn’t time fly? Luckily at this time of year, with a fair (and slight) wind and a bit of sun, nature just keeps working away while we get on with other things.

It’s been about three weeks since all the window boxes were planted up and those original inhabitants have had the chance to bed in to their new surroundings.

Mostly they have settled in well. The geraniums on both the shady and sunny side of the house are fattening up and look well set to flower when the time is right. When is the right time though? I’m so impatient with them as they look at least as strong as those garden centre varieties. (more…)


Off the Scale June 3, 2009

Filed under: Accessories,Info,Summer,Watering,Weather — northernwindowgardener @ 7:13 am

Off the ScaleSo now I know why I need to take good care of the watering during the summer – or at least those days that count as summer up here.

This photo was taken at the weekend with the guage on the outside of the window in the sun. If the picture is too difficult to see lets just say the needle if off the scale – above 120F or 50C.

Even allowing for the cheapness of the product it was seriously warm.

I guess this is what the plants and soil have to deal with, rather than the actual air temperature.

And yes, I do need to clean my windows!


Weekend Work June 2, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Review,Seeds,Spring,Summer,Watering,Weather,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 12:27 pm
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French MarigoldBack to sporadic posting after a couple of weeks of catching up with all my efforts to plant my window boxes. It takes much more time to write about it than it does to actually do it!

I was a bit lucky with the weather which treated everything very kindly for the first week or so, then turned properly hot (well, hot for this far north anyway) for the last few days.

This has given everything a chance to bed in. As you can see from the picture the marigold’s are in bloom and smell lovely. They only get the morning sun so in the circumstances they’ve done really well.

I’m quite proud of my geraniums too. Although they aren’t flowering yet (unlike one neighbour’s which I’m a little envious of) they are better looking than most of the garden centre varieties so hopefully they have every chance of coming good. Fingers crossed.