Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

Weekend Work February 19, 2009

Filed under: bulbs,Colour,Flower,Seeds,Spring,Weather,Weekend Work,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 5:42 pm
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Winter PansyAdmit it. You’re fed up looking at different pictures of the same winter pansies, aren’t you. I mean they are nice, and any colour at this time of year can’t be bad? Yes? But, oh, for a little bit of variety. No?

As the cold dark days have progressed the plants have split into two camps. Those that are hardy enough to keep going despite the difficult conditions (see Pansy, Cyclamen, Ivy). And those that have gently and serenely succumbed (hmm, see Pansy, Cyclamen). We won’t make mention of the third lot that didn’t even try a lick! You know who you are!!

So while I’m spending a lot of time ‘thinking‘ about the garden, there’s not really a lot of ‘doing‘ going on. Maybe this is better for all of us. All these plans and no reality to burst in and doom them.

But, no. Soon enough the temperatures will stay comfortably above freezing, the seeds will have sprouted and be looking for a new home and the garden centres will be full of those tempting little bedding plants that are oh so cheap – until you get to the checkout with a trolley full. Really! How much?! Do you take Visa?

Best to put this daydreaming time to good use I think and get those plans written down. Hmmmm!

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Green Shoots January 22, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Spring,Weather,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 12:38 am
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Early Early Tulip

There is some doubt about whether they’re appearing in the economy but here’s photographic evidence that they’re definitely in the window box. Who says I can’t be topical!

When I planted the bulbs I got a bit lazy and didn’t write tags for them all. Then I pretty quickly forgot what went where. Then I swapped a couple of boxes around. When spring finally comes it’s going to be something of a surprise about what grows where. Let’s hope it’s a nice surprise though.

These green shoots are from tulips – red I think – and the only ones I properly tagged. The mild Scottish weather has obviously encouraged them and it just goes to show that when all is quiet on the surface, there’s plenty going on down below. So there’s a little bit of encouragement for all of you with proper gardens.

Edit 25th Jan: After seeing the pic on the Guardian’s Gardening Blog (fourth pic down) I’d guess these shoots are the early crocus (crocuses? crocii?) rather than the tulips – which makes a lot more sense.

I know tulips are meant to be quite hardy but I do fear for them when the inevitable freezing temps return probably in February, just as they’re about to try and flower. Not that I’m at all pessimistic, of course.

I may have mentioned previously (you don’t expect me to read as well as write this do you?!)  there are some Winter Acconite, Anemone Blanda and  Crocus Ladykiller. The Acconite and Crocus are supposed to flower around February or March and given the northern latitude, and the propensity of marketing types to stretch the truth, I thought that everything might look nice in April. But now I’m on ‘shoot watch’ and confess to just a little bit of nervous excitement and apprehension at how these fragile plants will fare.