Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

Sing a Rainbow July 29, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 8:47 am
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I was looking at all the colours in my windowboxes as I did my near daily inspection, and this little kids song popped into my head. Isn’t it odd that thoughts that have remained dormant for so long can suddenly be brought to life. The mind is truly a weird, wonderful and unbelievably complicated thing.

Red

Geranium

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Try, try again July 18, 2009

Filed under: Flower,Indoor,Seeds,Spring,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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It hasn’t all been a success story although the way the window boxes look at the moment I have no idea where I would have put anything else. It wasn’t the intention to grow everything from seed but unfortunately some seeds just didn’t work as well as others so they needed a bit of a boost from some shop-bought specimens like these pink petunias.

While I thought I was starting a bit early (looking back I see it was late Jan\Early Feb that I sowed my first geranium seeds) some of the seedlings still weren’t ready for planting out and ultimately I was too late in sowing Impatiens and Nemesia in particular. Neither really got going and by the time I was planting up the few that had made it into seedlings were much too weak for them to stand a chance.

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The Colour Purple July 14, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Seeds,Summer,Weather — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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Verbena in bloomIt’s well and truly summertime now and mother nature has been kind to us here in Scotland. A bit of rain, some thunderstorms and a couple of windy-ish days but generally lots of sun, warm temperatures and a few really gloriously long hot days. My gut feeling is that it’s much better than last year which was my first year of having flower boxes. Getting the boxes into outdoor conditions in early June has meant that everything is well  established in the boxes and they’re now fighting it out for space.

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Grow Your Own July 1, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Review,Seeds,Spring,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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LobeliaThose of you who have followed this blog or have somehow stumbled upon it and read a few postings will know that I tried to grow the majority of my own plants from seed for the first time. To say it was a steep learning curve would be fair but as it’s hardly a question of life and death (well, except to the plants of course!) so if there were as many failures as successes then it was no big problem.

Anyway some things were easier to grow than others so I thought I’d put together a little list of how I did. (more…)

 

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 …

 

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.

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Pestilence May 28, 2009

Filed under: Info,pests,Spring — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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The GatheringYou might not be able to see them in this small picture but I can assure you that there are hundreds of aphids making a good living on the leaves of these crocus plants. This was one of many reasons why this particular box was completely cleaned out – with the plants thrown away and the box itself given a good scrub.

Being some distance off the ground slugs and snails haven’t been a bother. But aphids really took a liking to the crocuses and sadly they’ve also migrated onto the brachycome seedlings then onto the verbena.

They really are very sneaky and I have trouble seeing them at first. But once you see one you know there are likely to be more. The underside of young leaves seem to be a favourite haunt. I wonder if the soil I used last year could have been the source of them as when I went to use the remainder there were lots of black flies in the bag – which wasn’t a happy discovery. Needless to say it was thrown out immediately but the damage may have been done.

I generally try to steer clear of chemical remedies so after reading this useful article on aphid control I’ve been knocking them off with a handy cotton bud and will move on to some soap solution if that doesn’t work. It looks like it will be a constant battle of wills though as they multiply at an incredible rate if left alone.