Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

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…)

 

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…)

 

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…)

 

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 …

 

Verbena June 19, 2009

Filed under: Colour,Flower,Summer,Weather — northernwindowgardener @ 7:00 am
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VerbenaThe weather’s been good for the last month and almost everything has had a chance to really bed in. Which is fortunate because the dreaded wind has made a return.

We’re not near to gale force yet but already anything that’s grown a little leggy had been gently reminded that hunkering down isn’t such a bad idea – even in summer.

The lovely candy stripe trailing verbena (pictured) have lived a charmed life and have been pushed back down to soil level. This might be ok if they decide to learn their lesson and grow over the box edge and head south.

The petunia surfinia have been flowering constantly for a couple of weeks and crawling into every available space. They’ve managed to provide some good ground cover and they too might be persuaded over the edge. If the wind hadn’t returned I might have started to pinch them back as they’re taking over a bit.

Still the decision to get everything planted while the weather was good has proved worthwhile and even if the wind strengthens there’s a good chance of survival for most plants.