Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

The Last Post January 24, 2010

Filed under: bulbs,Seeds,Spring,Summer,Weather,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 11:18 pm
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If you’ve been tracking this blog you’ll have noticed the gaps between postings have grown. Which is more than can be said for anything in the garden! That’s a little unfair as, despite the deep freeze, the tips of the first spring bulbs have somehow poked their way through the soil.

Rather than feel bad about not being able to give this the attention it deserves I’m putting it into its own deep freeze and leaving the last year’s postings for posterity. (more…)

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Weekend Work September 18, 2009

Filed under: Autumn,Flower,pests,Summer,Watering,Weather,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 12:40 pm
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The JungleBless the summer for its long days, warm temperatures and reliable ability to never live up to expectations. Childhood summers were much hotter, longer and drier, weren’t they? (I’m actually sure they weren’t but the collective consciousness suggests otherwise – or at least the mass media do).

In window-box gardening this means that with a minimal amount of care and attention (regular watering, occasional feeding) you too can end up with a small jungle within arms reach.

But all good things must come to an end. Finally having a bit of spare time to really get stuck in and have a good look at what was going on outside my window it was on with the gardening gloves and out with the secateurs. And boy, was there some work needing done! (more…)

 

Logistics September 1, 2009

Filed under: Autumn,Colour,Flower,Summer,Weather — northernwindowgardener @ 12:45 pm
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GeraniumI’ve been putting off writing the next post because it’s undeniable that summer is on the way out and that means that all the planning, nurturing and growing will, in time, follow it out too.

It had started to become more obvious about two weeks ago when previously lush foliage started to look a little limp and yellow. At first it’s just the odd leaf, which in growing season is not surprising anyway. But then day-by-day you notice that it’s a couple of leaves. Then a few more flowers than normal. Then the drooping foliage that used to perk up after a good watering no longer looks so perky.

At this point you realise that the long daylight (sometimes sunny, sometimes not – but always light) days are waning and the extensive growth can no longer be sustained. It might be that some of the plants, like the ever-spreading petunias, would have benefitted from a helping hand in the form of a harsh chop back, just to reduce the amount of growth they have to sustain with the dwindling resources available to them.

In essence this is what it comes down to; a problem with logistics. Like a rampaging army that outruns its supply chain, they simply need to fall back and consolidate the ground they’ve made. Although for this little army of flowers they will slowly but surely be pushed back until nothing remains.

It’s amazing what a few minutes less light, a little less heat and a bit more wind can do. I’ll post the pics when I get the courage!

 

A View with a Room August 7, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Indoor,Seeds,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 11:58 am
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Street ViewFinally remembered to take the camera out with me to get a few pictures of the window boxes from street level. As you can see (hopefully) they’re too overflowing to turn around from inside any more so they’ll stay like this until the frosts come back and it’s time for the winter clothes to return. After spending the first few months thinking months ahead now I’m trying to do the opposite and just live in the moment – dismissing all thought of colder, shorter days.

The pictures below show just how much the nasturtiums have taken over. They were all planted directly into the boxes from seed after my idea of transplanting from seedlings proved to be a failure. Seeing how quickly they’ve grown now however I know that next year I don’t need to worry about getting them off to an early start. (more…)

 

Sing a Rainbow July 29, 2009

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

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Care and Maintenance July 24, 2009

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

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Try, try again July 18, 2009

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