Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

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…)


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!


Planting … Holling May 22, 2009

Filed under: Accessories,Colour,Flower,Indoor,Info,Review,Seeds,Spring,Summer,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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Holling We’ll start off with a prettier picture this time as there’s only so much scratchy handwriting that’s interesting.

Here we have the finished window box which looks an awful lot scrappier than the lovely ones in the window box book I reviewed a while back. That book has lots of healthy, upright and flowering plants pictured in folksy locations and they really are a joy to look at.

This blog however is the ‘warts and all’ variety of gardening so here we are, at the end of lots of planning, growing and tlc, and yet it still looks like a bunch of plants have been hapharzardly thrown into a plastic container. Ho hum!



Planting … Shelly May 21, 2009

Filed under: Accessories,Flower,Indoor,Info,Review,Seeds,Spring,Summer,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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The PlanI’m nothing if not thorough – and a little over-prepared as you can see from the chicken scatchings on the left. This was my final plan for planting the boxes, which along with a spreadsheet … yes, I have a spreadsheet to keep track of what I planted, where and how much I had left … helped me make sure I used everything I had available. And before you say it, yes, I do recognise the insanity of all this.

Each box had its own little diagram (this isn’t making it sound any better) although I still managed to ever-so-slightly mess up by changing my mind and then being unable to read my own handwriting. What that says about all that pre-planning I’ll leave you to decide. (more…)


Planting the Window Boxes II May 19, 2009

Petunia SurfiniaHaving gathered everything together, and concocted a planting scheme, the next step was to systematically work my way through each box, trying not to mix everything up on the way.

Counting all the possible seedlings and plants, I had 105 plants at my disposal, six of which were shop-bought. The geraniums and marigold, which had been on the go for the longest time, were quite sturdy and matched up well to the purchased plants. Others like the verbena, brachycome and nasturium were much smaller and leggier.

This made me wonder whether I was doing the right thing in planting them now but I didn’t think they were going to improve much more being kept inside rather than being outside and having time to root properly so these five plants made up the core of my planting scheme. Overall I knew I needed about 75 plants so the remaining ones would be kept as spares and will provide a comparison in terms of development. (more…)


Planting the Window Boxes I May 18, 2009

Filed under: Accessories,Flower,Info,Review,Seeds,Spring,Summer,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 12:54 pm
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The Marigold JungleThe story so far… having agonised about when and what to plant in my six window boxes, I’d finally taken the plunge and removed all the old plants, cleaned the boxes and refilled them with some good drainage material and soil.

As nice as these look on a window ledge it seemed a better idea to actually fill them with something!



Weekend Work – Part 4 May 15, 2009

Filed under: Accessories,Indoor,Info,Review,Spring,Summer,Watering,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 8:00 am

The Box - ReloadedThis is turning into a bit of a mini-series but I wanted to go into some depth about replanting the boxes. Partly so that I can refer back once I see how things develop and partly in case any new gardeners stumble upon the site and want to know about each stage.

I was largely inspired to write this blog because I couldn’t find the kind of advice I wanted online so thought I’d share my experiences as I went so that others could perhaps could get the benefit. (more…)