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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Logistics September 1, 2009

Filed under: Autumn,Colour,Flower,Summer,Weather — northernwindowgardener @ 12:45 pm
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GeraniumI’ve been putting off writing the next post because it’s undeniable that summer is on the way out and that means that all the planning, nurturing and growing will, in time, follow it out too.

It had started to become more obvious about two weeks ago when previously lush foliage started to look a little limp and yellow. At first it’s just the odd leaf, which in growing season is not surprising anyway. But then day-by-day you notice that it’s a couple of leaves. Then a few more flowers than normal. Then the drooping foliage that used to perk up after a good watering no longer looks so perky.

At this point you realise that the long daylight (sometimes sunny, sometimes not – but always light) days are waning and the extensive growth can no longer be sustained. It might be that some of the plants, like the ever-spreading petunias, would have benefitted from a helping hand in the form of a harsh chop back, just to reduce the amount of growth they have to sustain with the dwindling resources available to them.

In essence this is what it comes down to; a problem with logistics. Like a rampaging army that outruns its supply chain, they simply need to fall back and consolidate the ground they’ve made. Although for this little army of flowers they will slowly but surely be pushed back until nothing remains.

It’s amazing what a few minutes less light, a little less heat and a bit more wind can do. I’ll post the pics when I get the courage!

 

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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Keeping Track July 3, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Review,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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PetuniaWhen I planted all the window boxes this year I neatly wrote little tabs for each type and slipped them carefully into the side of the box.

Then as I added some more plants I wrote out some more tabs. Then I forgot to write some tabs. Then I took out some nasturtiums that had died and randomly replaced them with more seeds. And of course I forgot to write tabs for those as well.

Is there a moral to this story? Well only that if I had a proper garden then I’d have no idea how to cope. And so I’m full of admiration for those with big gardens or allotments where there’s a whole range of plants that all need their own special treatment.

This year was about experimentation to see what would work and what wouldn’t. I had thought that I would be able to track the progress of each plant and keep a useful record that I could use again next year. So much for that idea! I bit off much more than I could chew and now it’s just as much as I can do to sit back and watch how everything goes.

Maybe at some point I’ll be able to make some judgement on how things have done but I don’t think I’m quite ready to take on something much bigger than a window box at the moment.

 

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…)

 

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…)

 

Picture Post – Marilyn June 27, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Review,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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In the beginningHere’s a little photo show plotting the progress of my newest window box. Made with a old plastic container I originally bought before I realised just how big my window ledges actually are. It looked oddly out of place so I bought some bigger deeper boxes and this got used as storage for a few months.

When I realised I’d overbought in the plant department it seemed like an ideal time to press this box back into service. And the bathroom ledge is smaller so it doesn’t look so out of place there.

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