Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

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…)


Care and Maintenance July 24, 2009

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

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.



Picture Post – Chris June 12, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Seeds,Spring,Summer,Watering — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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Looking poorlyAfter the initial planting Chris was left with lots of small seedlings and not much chance of growth.



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!


Weekend Work June 2, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Review,Seeds,Spring,Summer,Watering,Weather,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 12:27 pm
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French MarigoldBack to sporadic posting after a couple of weeks of catching up with all my efforts to plant my window boxes. It takes much more time to write about it than it does to actually do it!

I was a bit lucky with the weather which treated everything very kindly for the first week or so, then turned properly hot (well, hot for this far north anyway) for the last few days.

This has given everything a chance to bed in. As you can see from the picture the marigold’s are in bloom and smell lovely. They only get the morning sun so in the circumstances they’ve done really well.

I’m quite proud of my geraniums too. Although they aren’t flowering yet (unlike one neighbour’s which I’m a little envious of) they are better looking than most of the garden centre varieties so hopefully they have every chance of coming good. Fingers crossed.


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…)


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…)