Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

Sing a Rainbow July 29, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 8:47 am
Tags: , , ,

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…)

 

Care and Maintenance July 24, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Summer,Watering,Weather,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 8:58 pm
Tags:

GeraniumThank you Mother Nature – doing all the hard work while I get to sit back with my feet up and enjoy the mini-forest growing outside my window. A little bit of dead-heading here, a lot of watering there and hey presto! everything keeps on chugging away – day AND night it seems (I’m sure things are visibly bigger when I look in the morning that when I go to bed.

Of course it’s not all sweetness and light in these northern climes. A couple of thunderstorms and a stiffer breeze have tested the hardiness of these flower boxes. But with eight weeks or so of good growing behind them the majority are proving robust enough to cope with the slightly harsher conditions. And I’m confident that even if we go to gale force for a couple of days they’ll be able to bounce back in good time.

(more…)

 

Try, try again July 18, 2009

Filed under: Flower,Indoor,Seeds,Spring,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

DSC_0016

It hasn’t all been a success story although the way the window boxes look at the moment I have no idea where I would have put anything else. It wasn’t the intention to grow everything from seed but unfortunately some seeds just didn’t work as well as others so they needed a bit of a boost from some shop-bought specimens like these pink petunias.

While I thought I was starting a bit early (looking back I see it was late Jan\Early Feb that I sowed my first geranium seeds) some of the seedlings still weren’t ready for planting out and ultimately I was too late in sowing Impatiens and Nemesia in particular. Neither really got going and by the time I was planting up the few that had made it into seedlings were much too weak for them to stand a chance.

(more…)

 

Summertime July 16, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Summer,Weather — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Daisy daisyLove this picture of a Livingstone Daisy (Mesembryanthemum) in full bloom. This only happens when it’s really sunny and mine in particular seem to want there to be long unbroken periods of sun before they’re willing to risk it. Even on a good day that’s a big ask.

This will maybe prove to be a bit of a jinx but the weather continues to be a huge help to my one foot wide garden. The sun (and showers) are very welcome, the warmth (but not stiffling heat) are helpful and most importantly, the calm airflow is a godsend. Even minor breezes can wreak havoc on a window box but through some good plant selection (only the nasturtiums rise above 18 inches and they can be persuaded to try a different route) and better luck every box is brimming over with flowers and foliage. When I get a chance I’ll take a few photos from street level to show how well everything is doing from down there. (more…)

 

The Colour Purple July 14, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Seeds,Summer,Weather — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Verbena in bloomIt’s well and truly summertime now and mother nature has been kind to us here in Scotland. A bit of rain, some thunderstorms and a couple of windy-ish days but generally lots of sun, warm temperatures and a few really gloriously long hot days. My gut feeling is that it’s much better than last year which was my first year of having flower boxes. Getting the boxes into outdoor conditions in early June has meant that everything is well  established in the boxes and they’re now fighting it out for space.

(more…)

 

Keeping Track July 3, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Review,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
Tags:

PetuniaWhen I planted all the window boxes this year I neatly wrote little tabs for each type and slipped them carefully into the side of the box.

Then as I added some more plants I wrote out some more tabs. Then I forgot to write some tabs. Then I took out some nasturtiums that had died and randomly replaced them with more seeds. And of course I forgot to write tabs for those as well.

Is there a moral to this story? Well only that if I had a proper garden then I’d have no idea how to cope. And so I’m full of admiration for those with big gardens or allotments where there’s a whole range of plants that all need their own special treatment.

This year was about experimentation to see what would work and what wouldn’t. I had thought that I would be able to track the progress of each plant and keep a useful record that I could use again next year. So much for that idea! I bit off much more than I could chew and now it’s just as much as I can do to sit back and watch how everything goes.

Maybe at some point I’ll be able to make some judgement on how things have done but I don’t think I’m quite ready to take on something much bigger than a window box at the moment.

 

Grow Your Own July 1, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Review,Seeds,Spring,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

LobeliaThose of you who have followed this blog or have somehow stumbled upon it and read a few postings will know that I tried to grow the majority of my own plants from seed for the first time. To say it was a steep learning curve would be fair but as it’s hardly a question of life and death (well, except to the plants of course!) so if there were as many failures as successes then it was no big problem.

Anyway some things were easier to grow than others so I thought I’d put together a little list of how I did. (more…)