Happy New Year to everyone. The gardening has taken a back seat over the festive season so I’ll see what’s survived and what hasn’t, as well as doing a little book reviewing (thanks for the presents) and turning my attention towards planning for springtime.
Conditions November 23, 2008
It wasn’t until trying to grow things in windox boxes that I appreciated just how many factors need to be taken into consideration. Soil, drainage, sun position, season, watering, prevailing wind, type of plant, pruning/deadheading and the time available are all some that immediately come to mind and that’s to say nothing of colour schemes and looks. It’s a lot for the novice gardener to think about.
Naivity helped a lot to start with. A wide range of plants were purchased from garden centres and planted with a best guess as to how they would perform. Once the boxes were out the reality of sun/shade and wind/rain became particularly clear. One position gets sun only in the early morning and only on the longer days of the year. At this time of the year (late November) it hasn’t seen the sun in a couple of months and might be lucky if it does before late Spring. The lazy Autumn sun just doesn’t get above the surrounding houses until mid morning and then scoots behind the building, never to return.
Likewise the wind, everything from a warm breeze to a bone-chilling gale, was something I really didn’t consider before planting. In fact I think I may have written a note saying that a couple of boxes were unlikely to get any wind at all! How wrong I was! More than any other factor the strength of the wind, and its capacity to detroy any plant above six inches has played a large part in my selection of Spring bulbs and will do again when the time comes to look at Summer bedding plants.
Books and internet pages can offer a bit of help but there’s no substitute for on-the-job learning to get to grips with the local conditions. Here’s hoping this experience gets put to good use by next year.
Zinnia November 20, 2008
Not knowing anything about gardening, plants or planting meant that I went for a scattergun approach to flowers. In hindsight it was a good way to start because I picked up a lot of knowledge about a wide range of plants in a short space of time.
The Zinnia was just one of those flowers that looked good on the garden centre shelf and in the absence of any other information, or even an understanding of where it was going to be planted, back it came with me.
A couple were planted in a spot that gets morning sun and although they took a while the first flowers were worth the wait, a deep yellow colour and about the size of my palm. That first one lasted well but once the next flowers came they were smaller and got a little more wind battered.
Weekend Work November 16, 2008
Late autumn and the last of the summer bedding plants are on their way out. Maggie’s two double petunias which flowered late, finally became too rotten to leave in and so out they came and the last of the winter pansies replaced them. The rest of that box is in ok shape although it’s probably been under-watered as it seems to dry out more quickly than others.
The Lobelia has been a real surprise in this box, continuing to grow and flower much longer than the other half dozen plants that were planted across these boxes. The cyclamen has really benefited from the protection of the petunia that were either side so we’ll see how it copes now they’re gone.
Let’s Get This Started November 8, 2008
Here we are back in July 2008. After a couple of shopping trips to the local garden centre I had the basics for starting my own little garden.
A quick run through the items:
Window Boxes – plastic, various sizes
Watering Can – plastic two replaceble nozzles, a rose for light watering and a little tube for directing at the roots, etc.
Compost – Organic and peat free – I used way more compost that I thought I would.
Plants – from the top of the pic to the bottom, roughly left to right.
- Viola – mixed colours
- Aster (Victoria) – nice purple flowers which didn’t last.
- Pansy – mixed colours
- Dianthus – pink and red
- Petunia – actually double petunia – pink
- Impatiens – white
- Dahlia – mixed
- Zinnia – Yellow
- Alyssum – white
- Lobelia – white
- Over on the far left is Celosia – yellow and red
There are also some screws and a screwdriver over there for good measure but we can talk about them later.