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Please help me with my window boxes!

(15 Posts)
allegretto Fri 17-Mar-17 15:26:40

I don't have a garden but I do have a balcony and I want to put window (balcony?) boxes along it. I have decided that I would like geraniums but not sure how to do this so I have some questions for any experts:
a) should I mix ivy and "normal" geraniums?
b) Can I also put in lobelia and alyssum and if so, can I just plant them directly in next to the geraniums? (Google isn't helping me here - some sites say I have to germinate them and then transfer them but I don't want to do this unless necessary as I don't have the space!)
c) Thanks!

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 17-Mar-17 15:31:44

Just buy little plants and put what you like in. It's too early for geraniums really though; best to wait until after the last frost.

I do geraniums most years in the pots either side of my shady front door. I normally do for large flowered varieties in shades of pink. I give them the odd drink and deadhead regularly and they last until about November.

allegretto Fri 17-Mar-17 15:33:00

Thanks! Sorry, forgot to give some crucial info. I am in Italy and I don't think we will get any more frost.

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 17-Mar-17 15:45:32

In that case I am insanely jealous and you are free to crack on with your flowers regardless of frosts.

Do they have garden centres and nurseries in Italy? Is it easy to buy plants? The public gardens I have been to were a bit uninspiring to British eyes.

allegretto Fri 17-Mar-17 15:52:32

I know what you mean - I miss British parks and especially the National Trust so much! We do have a local garden centre but there isn't that much on offer. My neighbour has geraniums on her balcony but she hasn't been very helpful with telling me how to get started - she said they've been there for years and she just lets them get on with it!

sunnyhills Sat 18-Mar-17 08:53:24

I don't know about Italy but in UK I usually just buy geraniums as small plants and they grow !

Over here ( I'm in London ) they seem to survive the winter in a sheltered spot so I'm sure they get on with it in Italy .

I once read that for containers you need a thriller (eg upright geranium) a filler ( eg alyssum ) and a spiller ( trailing geranium /lobellia ) .

I'm not experienced but I'm sure you could put them in together ,though the geraniums don't need much water and the other plants might need more .

Liara Sat 18-Mar-17 20:47:38

I get geraniums in plug plant trays from a site called jardinexpress, they deliver to Italy as well and send them by post.

Mine should be arriving next week.

Polyanthus Sun 19-Mar-17 08:19:39

Geraniums take really easily from cuttings so if your neighbour is friendly you could try asking her for a few pieces?

I really love the scented leaf geraniums but they aren't always as flowery as the regular ones. Attar of roses has a gorgeous scent but the flowers are fairly insignificant (on my plants anyway). Pink capitatum has much bigger and brighter flowers.

allegretto Sun 19-Mar-17 08:35:17

Thank you so much for all the advice and thanks Liara for that site - plugs are so much cheaper than buying the plants so if I can order from them that would be great!

sunnyhills Sun 19-Mar-17 09:06:28

Poly - at what time of year do you take your cuttings ?

Liara Sun 19-Mar-17 20:37:18

Now is a perfectly good time to take cuttings, if you can keep them somewhere warm.

Polyanthus Mon 20-Mar-17 09:56:20

Yes, spring is a good time to set them off. But I tend to do it at the end of the summer - I often have geraniums in big pots outside and I'll usually cut them back, wrap them in fleece and hope for the best over winter. And I use the bits I've cut back as cutting to raise new plants and as insurance against the outside plants not surviving. I put the cuttings on a windowsill in the conservatory they do well. The ones I took last September have just started flowering now.

allegretto Mon 20-Mar-17 11:17:33

I don't have anywhere to keep cuttings unfortunately.

sunnyhills Mon 20-Mar-17 19:51:08

I think I took my cuttings too late - towards end of Oct .

scanbran Wed 22-Mar-17 07:34:02

I love geraniums and last year in my window box did a few geraniums, a few trailing geraniums and trailing petunia. There were beautiful if I say so myself!

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