Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

About October 19, 2008

Some flowers, yesterday.

Some flowers, yesterday.

The reason for doing this was simply that it was difficult to locate gardening information that was specific to using window boxes. There are some great sites out there that give lots of information on growing in different conditions or how to look after specific plants and all of that is incredibly valuable. But the context and special requirements for using specific plants or solving certain problems when they’re stuck in plastic containers some distance off the ground on a windy (or not so windy) ledge was missing.

After a few months of trial and error it became apparent that local conditions could make such a difference to plant growth, to the point that plants that flourished in one box failed miserably in the next, that it seemed like a good idea to share a little bit of that knowledge with others so that they might help avoid the same mistakes. Ok, avoiding mistakes is asking too much, but at least they might have more understanding of what went wrong.

So the hope is that by sharing this experience of trying to grow plants at a northern latitude and in mixed conditions maybe some other will have a go themselves and perhaps be willing to share their experiences as well. And at least one set of window ledges will be a bit more interesting.

Central Scotland is home and therefore weather and the seasons play a big part in the success of the plants. As time has gone on it’s become apparent just how the wind flowing round the buildings creates its own micro-climate that needs to be taken into consideration. And yes, the boxes are named after characters in the old US TV show, Northern Exposure – the name, and the quirkiness of the show, seemed appropriate for the circumstances!


8 Responses to “About”

  1. Glo Says:

    Hi there ~ I found my way over from Flighty’s blog. I live on Vancouver Island in Canada ~ but from Cumbria originally. I love window boxes and have 5 (nameless) ones 😉 Four are on the front with a southern exposure, and one in the back outside my kitchen window. Right now they’re mostly full of dead things after all the snow and frost, so they need cleaning out, however I usually wait to see if there’s the tiniest bit of green before yanking. The two front ones on the main level have ivy in them which stays alive. I’ll look forward to reading your posts, and if you don’t mind, I’ll add you to my blog list 🙂

  2. northernwindowgardener Says:

    Yes, the name thing is a bit of a conceit. It will either get used soon or be disposed of in a badly scripted putsch. What’s the weather like on Vancouver Island? Mild winds on the gulf stream or freezing in northern latitudes?

    Happy to reciprocate the link.

  3. daffy Says:

    See how nosey we all are from Flighty’s place! :o)
    Glo is nosier than I am though…. :o)

  4. northernwindowgardener Says:

    Nosey is good. Where would the internet be without nosey?
    Thanks for having a look around 🙂

  5. Yeye Says:

    I am also having a hard time finding relevant information on window boxes. On a whim really I obtained a bunch of geraniums but the wind has really done them in already — and I’ve only had them sitting outside for a few days.

    Look forward to seeing what you’ve learned and hopefully having some experiments of my own.

  6. Hi Yeye – thanks for having a look around. You’ve reminded me that I really need to update this bit of the blog! A neighbour had lovely red geraniums last year which inspired me to try them in my window boxes this year. The wind is the thing that bothers me most though so I sympathise with yours getting knocked around. If you have your own blog then link it to your name and I’ll add it to my links.

  7. Mia Says:

    You have some beautiful pictures here on you site at Aesculus hippocastanum. I’m writing a student report about glycosides in horse chestnut and I’m wondering if I might use you picture with chestnuts in my presentation (a webpage)?

  8. Mia, please use it if you still need it. It’s borrowed from elsewhere on the internet but if I didn’t credit it then it musn’t have had a photographer’s name attached.

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