Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

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…)


Shop v. Seed June 11, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Seeds,Spring,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:25 am
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Hot Pink PetuniaA few weeks ago as I was preparing to plant everything up I thought I’d end up with about 80% home grown and 20% shop bought. There were some plants I just hadn’t been able to find seed for (not that I was trying too hard – I had enough to be getting on with given this was my first time!) like petunia surfinia (a trailing petunia), bacopa and trailing verbena. But having had a fair amount of success with seeds I thought that my crop would be enough to fill my boxes handsomely.

When it came to plant everything it still seemed like that split would be about right. But once everything was planted up and it became apparent that some of them were likely to be hit and miss (the aster and sweet pea in particular looked like they had a 50/50 chance of survival) and some of the boxes looked a bit bare. (more…)


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.



Decisions Decisions May 4, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Indoor,Seeds,Spring,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 8:17 pm
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Geranium LeafAfter being so sure that this was the time to plant out the window boxes for summer I’ve been overcome with indecisiveness. The geraniums and marigold seem strong enough to have a fighting chance but everything else looks a bit weedy and straggly. A visit to the garden centre didn’t reassure me, in fact it only made things worse.

I know I’ve said before that I’m aware that garden centre plants seem to be generally forced or at least grown in near perfect conditions and therefore are far ahead of home-grown specimens at this time of year. That may well be true but it’s hard not to compare my weak and straggly verbena with the strong, lush and healthy examples on the shelves.

The geraniums match up reasonably well but the brachycome, sweet pea and impatiens are all unworthy of comparison. The plants on the shelves seem tighter and bushier than my home grown ones as well. In some instances they look like completely different varieties although sadly I know they aren’t. (more…)