A Window In a Window Garden

Look closely. Is there something odd about this? Could it be that this clematis is coming back. I threw the tag away cause it died in the middle of the summer and I thought it was a gone-er. Notice too—the condition of the soil in the background and that in the garden.

That was a bit back-breaking to haul in the amendments needed to get it looking like black gold. Since March 08—we’re up to 20 some loads of leaf mulch for all the gardens around the house. You can see that amending process HERE.


Do you think it is the clematis that seems odd?—or…..is it the lack of weeds. I weeded today and doesn’t it look nice? Count the cups! That’s a clue.


I potted up more seeds today and I’m half done. Some are direct sow and that is good huh? Since Copper Top Cottage isn’t finished…..


I had to make a home-made green house! The odd part is wires, screw hooks, and duct tape. Desperate times cause for desperate measures. I had to get them in better sunlight and get some air going.


Last summer..—the widow garden looked like this—I grew tomatoes and planted more today….there was basil, squash, eggplant, lettuce, and peppers. So far…only Better Boy tomatoes planted and all these flower seedlings in the above photos. More on the Old Window Garden– HERE.


Since Copper Top Cottage will be finished before next seed planting season, I’m going to use the extra windows in the first photo for another project. I’m going to take out the panes of glass and connect them to make a trellis. I don’t have a clue where I’m going to put that trellis. I did buy some cool Thunbergia seeds that are called Blushing Susie. I know these can be invasive and reseed like crazy but I can’t resist. I love this color.

The photo is from Thompson & Morgan Seeds. I did get mine from there. I love the reds and peaches. See what they have to say about this beauty. Won’t it be pretty growing on my window frame trellis. If you want some old windows, call a window replacement company. They will be glad to give you some. Make sure you ask for those with individual panes. I’m taking the left-over glass panes to Seagrove, NC. The potters in that city use the glass to make their glazes.


Information from Thompson & Morgan Seeds

Thunbergia alata Blushing Susie

Half Hardy Annual

  • Flowers: Summer
  • Position: Full sun
  • Soil: Well drained
  • Height: 5 feet
  • Germination: Easy
  • Aftercare: Easy
  • Ideal for: Baskets, Bedding, Border, Conservatory, Containers, Greenhouse, Pot Plant


This stunning new Thunbergia (Black Eyed Susan) is the result of 8 years careful selection by T&M’s flower breeders. Unlike many other varieties that only have an odd red bloom, with a high proportion of salmon, Blushing Susie™ is predominantly red, with other shades of ivory and apricot adding contrast. Spectacular when used tumbling over containers, twining around basket chains or climbing obelisks in the garden or containers.

Sowing Instructions

Sowing time: February to April.

Sow into pots or trays of moist seed compost and cover with a 1/4in layer of compost or vermiculite. Place in a propagator or warm place, and keep at a constant temperature of between 20-25C (68-77F). After sowing, do not exclude light as this helps germination. Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged; germination will usually take 14-21 days.

Growing Instructions

When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10-15 days before planting out after all risk of frost, 30cm (12in) apart.

Aftercare Instructions

For best results, provide a light, well-drained soil in full sun. Can also be grown in 25-30cm (10-12in) containers in the greenhouse or conservatory. Additionally, a mid summer sowing will produce winter/spring flowering plants in the cool greenhouse.

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathleen says:

    oooh, I ordered “blushing susie” too. Can’t wait to see it bloom & grow. Your photo has renewed my excitement!! Loving your makeshift greenhouse. Maybe I should try and throw one together too? (since I don’t have another option at the moment!) Good luck with your bounty of seedlings.


  2. Wow, you have quite a few seedling there Anna, wonderful. I also like your “greenhouse/coldframe” – just the thing to keep the worst of the weather of your seedlings.
    37 degrees tonight but not in the hillbilly greenhouse. The soil and heat coming off the hosue will keep it to about 50 degrees. Not perfect for germinating but I looked ahead at the forecast and the next 15 days is above 50. It’s a gamble for those that haven’t sprouted yet but it’s all I have to work with. I had to get them out of the garage. There was enough light but it was too damp.

    And the drenching rains coming on Wednesday and Friday won’t matter. I’m set if they germinate.

    I fixed your double reply post. Sorry about that. I wondered if that would happen to someone when I chose the most recent reply to appear first. I can see how that is a bit confusing.


  3. Peggy says:

    Hi anna, I love the photos of your window garden! Clematis here anyway does die back to the ground in winter or it can be cut back for new growth so your one should be shooting upwards now.
    Oh good. I know nothing about them. I’ve had two in my whole life. Isn’t that window garden a funny looking thing–but it serves me well.


  4. Jen says:

    What a great way to recycle old windows! I hate to see stuff like this go into the landfill. Now I have an idea for them. Nice to see your clematis peeking out too! that’s gonna be some bed when it’s filled out.
    Oh goodness—this isn’t all going in one bed. It’s going in all the beds around the house and the pots–and some to the local garden center–and some to neighbors….and the list goes on. I like to share.


  5. Darla says:

    Just linked to you in my post. I always try to let people know when I do this.
    Thank you and I’m glad you found the petunia. You’ll love it and I’m not surprised you picked this one. It’s going to fit perfectly in your garden. Thank you for the link! I do need to know when someone links to me cause I can’t figure that out. WordPress lumps it in with everyone who has me on their blogroll. It’s confusing and thank you for telling me.


  6. Catherine says:

    What a great idea with the windows! I think clematis can get wilt and die back to the ground. Most of mine have recovered the next summer from it. It looks like it’s happy now!
    It didn’t get very tall last year. But it was hot and then hot some more. I’ll keep an eye on it and wish it much success.


  7. Marnie says:

    I need to cobble together a makeshift cold frame too. I have a couple extra windows so it will probably be something like yours.

    Hadn’t seen the Thunbergia in that color before. I like it better than the yellow.
    Love the word cobble–perfect. I did a good bit of cobbling again today and now there is more creativity/mess out there. If I do save a few of these windows, I’ll make a prettier little cold frame down by Copper Top Cottage. I was so tired of planting seed today that when I had extras—

    I threw caution and instruction to the wind and let them fall where they may in the beds. That was not smart but it was fun.


  8. joey says:

    You’ve been a busy gal, Anna. Interesting use for old windows … very clever!
    MrD does not like it. He doesn’t understand that function is over design when it comes to this sort of thing. He’ll like it when I take the windows down and plant them all up in the beds.


  9. Phillip says:

    It is looking good!
    I saw worms–lots of worms when I was pulling weeds. Isn’t that grand?!!!


  10. Robin says:

    Your black gold soil looks amazing! No wonder your plants thrive!

    I need to re-pot some of my seedlings now. Especially the Wave Petunias.
    I planted a petunia too–can’t remember the name but it’s suppose to have big double blooms. I’ll buy some PW petunias too. I’m always trying something new and keeping it exciting.

    I’m blushing about my black soil. Me and MrD had to go to the dr after the first round of composting that soil. We had to get muscle relaxers. The first year was lots of tilling and mixing. This year it was topping it off. I’m going to work putting in new gardens toward the back of my lot if the economy improves. I want to watch our weather another year too. I think we are coming out of a drought thank goodness. For the past month or two–we’ve had rain several times a week. NC use to be that way back when I was a kid.


  11. Racquel says:

    Great way to improvise Anna! You have alot of seedlings to plant this year in the garden. 🙂 Blushing Susie is a nice selection. I bought seeds for the white variety this past fall.
    Wait till you see my sunflowers. Oh–I am so hoping they all germinate well. I know people think I’m nuts for planting so much—except we gardeners. Probably only half will make it. I think the white thunbergia is very classy.


  12. fairegarden says:

    Hi Anna, what a wonderful story. I had several clemmies I thought were dead last summer too, they just disappeared. They are all back now too. So glad I didn’t dig to plant something else in the spot. Now if the dead shrubs will just come back…. Love your window garden, and especially the glass pane going to the glaze makers, that is the best recycling story ever! Are you sure you won’t need those windows with glass for more cold frames next years though? I would be afraid to let them go. At least until you see how much space copper top gives you. The thunbergia is a beauty. I have had it on the want list several times and then dropped it off at the last minute. I will be interested to see how yours fares, but my soil is nowhere near that black gold you have. 🙂
    I’m tired Frances. I’ve been in the garden all day. My neighbor ask if all those pots were vegetables. I know he was thinking that was a lot. You and I know that only about 1/2 will survive. I’ll give some away and maybe even take a few to the little garden center where I worked. They like unusual stuff. I bet they didn’t grow the thunbergia. I’ll have a lot–maybe I can get one to ya.

    I had thought about needing those windows again. But I have an unending source for them. I live in a old neighborhood and seems like someone is always replacing windows. I just go ask the man in charge and he says take all I want. So I think I’ll be ok. Thanks for mentioning it though cause you think like me–I might need that one day. 🙂

    Love it when people brag about my dirt!


  13. paulie says:

    Thanks for visiting! Plant some piper and let’s see what happens. Doesn’t your garden need a fence?
    The windows are the fence and the garden is up against the house too. Nothing got eaten last year but maybe I was lucky. We’ll see if this year is the same.


  14. Janet says:

    Love the Thunbergia! I had not seen any other colors other than yellow! Congrats on the Clematis coming back. Clematis roots are remarkable.
    It died off in the heat of mid-summer. I thought it was gone for sure. But here it is coming back in spite of being stepped on and ignored. It’s probably insulted that I don’t know its name.

    I like that Thunbergia too! I thinned some of the seeds today. It was like murdering the plants as I thinned them to a few per pot.


  15. Darla says:

    Love the windows for sure!
    I’m sick of them right now! I’ve been wrestling with them all day. Lots of hook screws and more duct tape. The oldest kind of windows hold up the best. Some of these are new ones I got free from a builder who said they weren’t up to par. I can see why–the panes won’t stay in. But those all white windows are old and really strong.


  16. Phillip (UK) says:

    Everything is looking good Anna and a good description for the soil. It’ll be exciting to see what does come up and glad you brought your windows with you from the old house. Hope your finger is feelig better.
    Thank you and my finger is all better. MrD speeded to the drug store and bought me one of everything that cures a burn. The combination worked and no more pain.

    That soil does look yummy doesn’t it? I wonder how many seed will come up. I have some really cool sunflowers planted. I can’t wait.


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