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
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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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Micro Management June 23, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,pests,Summer,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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Miniature GardenBecause my garden is constantly within reach and the maximum amount of effort required to get to it is the strength to open a window, there’s a great temptation to interfere with mother nature.

As I have a minor aphid problem that’s normally how it starts. I’ll look at the plants to see how everything is doing then I’ll notice some aphids hiding like a column of camouflaged squaddies out on patrol.

The brachycome and verbena are particularly prone to this and once you find one group it’s only a matter of time before others become apparent, hiding under leaves and making their headquarters near the base.

With those taken care of a bit of deadheading looks like a good idea. Then you notice that the aster is being overrun by the petunia so a bit of rearranging sorts that out. Then the geranium seems to be producing lots more leaves and you’ve read that pinching those out can help the plant strengthen and so produce more flowers so you do that.

And before you know it you’ve spent an hour going round the various window boxes, repeating the actions and generally trying to improve on nature. It’s at this point that you think maybe just sitting down with a nice cup of tea and letting the plants do their own thing (which is what they’ll do anyway) is probably a better idea – well, maybe I’ll just get rid of those aphids first… and untangle those nasturtiums …

 

Staying Buzzy June 15, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Summer,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 6:15 pm
Mine .... all MINE

Mine .... all MINE

Rubbish pun but I had some visitors to the garden this weekend and managed to capture one as it made its way around the superstore.

Those of you with a aversion to bees or insect photographs might want to look away now although they were so small and pics taken from a comfortable distance that there’s not much to bother anyone. (more…)

 

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 .. Maggie May 27, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Indoor,Info,Review,Seeds,Spring,Summer,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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O'ConnellI shouldn’t really admit to having favourites but Maggie was my first window box and sits proudly on the longest window ledge in the house, facing front and looking out on the world. This position gets a gentle touch of morning sun but from late morning only benefits from reflected light rather than direct sun. If I was more experienced I’d be able to tell you what flowers would be best for this type of spot but I’m not, so it still trial and error for this year.

At 30″ inches long it’s also one of the two (along with Chris) big boxes and you can really pack the plants into them. Even with all my seed growing since January there still wasn’t enough good quality plants to cover all the boxes but Maggie had to get her fair share.

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Planting … Joel May 26, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Indoor,Info,Review,Seeds,Spring,Summer,Weekend Work — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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NoodlesI think it would be fair to say that the marigolds were both planted too shallow and more than ready to be planted elsewhere.

This picture of the extensive root system was repeated in all eight of the marigolds that were grown from seed. It’s quite satisfying to see just how much they’ve developed and they must like the conditions they were grown in. Some others like the nemesia and convolvulus haven’t fared so well while the verbena and brachycome have grown quite slowly and are still weak even though they’ve had lots of light and heat.

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