Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

Weekend Work January 19, 2009

Filed under: Autumn,Flower,Spring,Weather,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 3:38 pm
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Mini CyclamenThose sneaky spring bulbs are taking their chance to make a bid for freedom. I don’t know, a week or two of plus-zero weather and they get all over excited.

Finished tidying the last two boxes that I avoided due to last week’s inclement weather. If I’d have opened a window they might have been blown in! So the long-gone Lobelia are now no more and various rotten Dianthus have been cut right back. I was tempted just to remove them but decided to leave them there and see what happens in the spring. They are supposed to be good for a couple of years so the BBC say and there’s nothing lost if they don’t come again and need removed later.



Autumn Planting – Spring Flowers 2 December 2, 2008

Filed under: Autumn,Colour,Flower,Spring,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 2:00 pm
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Continuing the tale of picking Spring bulbs to plant from a couple of days ago.

After doing the usual methodical selection process then changing my mind another half dozen times I finally bought a range of bulbs and walked out, dazed and confused, from the garden centre.

It’s at times like these that the lack of experience really comes home. The instructions on the packets seem fairly straightforward – plant x inches deep and x inches apart – but then those measurements don’t seem realistic in a small container where you’re looking for a really over-the-top display.

In all the excitement to plant them I managed to get a bit forgetful about what was planted where. I know there are Crocus and dwarf Tulip in a couple of the boxes and I think I also put Anemone into another box. I distinctly remember having to soak some of the small bulbs in water for a few hours and then they got planted too. I did remember to write on some plastic tags and slip them into the side of the planter but that probably only accounts for around half the bulbs that were planted.

So come Spring there are likely to be a few surprises if the bulbs actually manage to survive the Winter chill and push their way through. That surprise is something to look forward to while I try to keep everything else looking good over the next couple of months.

Photo courtesy of Olibac’s Flickr photostream.


Colour November 27, 2008

Filed under: Autumn,Colour,Flower,Summer,Winter — northernwindowgardener @ 12:08 pm
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Window Boxes in Bloom

Let’s face it who doesn’t want a beautiful, flower laden window box or hanging baskets like those in this Flickr picture? OK, lots of people – but for those of us who do it can be difficult knowing just what colours to use and whether they will grow in the conditions you’ve got. It seems that everything in gardening is a bit of a compromise and so far for me, none more so than colour.

I think I convinced myself last summer that I was using a palette of reds and whites and that it would all look splendid even though I hadn’t really taken colour into consideration when I was planting. Of course once things started to flower it all looked far from planned although it was nice in its own way.

The Autumn bedding plants had a bit more thought put into them and not only are there far fewer varieties there’s also fewer colours. Red, cerise and purple Cyclamen are all planted sympathetically together and the Winter Pansies are all orange to provide a bit of brightness during the short Winter days.

It’s gone from one extreme (wide range of colours) to the other (restricted palette) and I would guess there’s a happy medium somewhere in between. Whether I can find this when the Summer comes around again and the choice of plant is expanded is another matter. And I haven’t even mentioned the surprise that awaits when the Spring bulbs start to push their way through in a few months.