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…)

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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…)

 

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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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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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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Summertime July 16, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Summer,Weather — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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Daisy daisyLove this picture of a Livingstone Daisy (Mesembryanthemum) in full bloom. This only happens when it’s really sunny and mine in particular seem to want there to be long unbroken periods of sun before they’re willing to risk it. Even on a good day that’s a big ask.

This will maybe prove to be a bit of a jinx but the weather continues to be a huge help to my one foot wide garden. The sun (and showers) are very welcome, the warmth (but not stiffling heat) are helpful and most importantly, the calm airflow is a godsend. Even minor breezes can wreak havoc on a window box but through some good plant selection (only the nasturtiums rise above 18 inches and they can be persuaded to try a different route) and better luck every box is brimming over with flowers and foliage. When I get a chance I’ll take a few photos from street level to show how well everything is doing from down there. (more…)

 

Nasranium June 29, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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Two's companySometimes nature throws up odd combinations and weird things happen. In the case of Joel you might be able to make out from the picture that a nasturtium and geranium have created a symbiotic relationship – or maybe it’s parasitic, time will tell.

Basically the nasturtium has climbed between the geranium leaves and the two plants are completely intertwined. At first glance the nasturtium leaves look like the geranium with the off-centre spot and radiating veins. But over the last few days they have just got bigger and bigger – they’re the size of small saucers now and showing no signs of letting up – and they don’t have the pretty red markings of the geranium or the puffier, pillow-like quality. (more…)