ONE OF THE NICEST features of a window garden is that you can easily change its composition to fit your mood. For instance, in February one of my windows (above) offers a private, and very fragrant, preview of spring (click photos to enlarge):
On the broad sill, which is actually a bookcase placed beneath the window, a pair of pink florist’s azaleas flank a trio of ‘Blue Jacket’ hyacinths. I forced these hyacinths in bulb vases. Also on the sill is a large, lacy-leaved Rabbit’s Foot fern, a bowl of yet-to-bloom species tulips, in-bloom crocus ‘Golden Yellow,’ and more hyacinths.
In the front right corner of the sill is a pot of hyacinths (variety name is lost) I probably didn’t leave in cold-storage long enough. These sent up extra-tall flowering stalks which promptly collapsed upon bloom. Still, the blue-veined white blossoms are beautiful to behold and delightful to smell.
On the first shelf, two ‘Yellow Parade’ miniature roses (obtained from the florist), flank a cyclamen I’m growing from a tuber. The cyclamen rests in a glass bowl, for it requires watering from the bottom. And what a thirst it has — I fill this bowl every morning!
Miniature roses needn’t be temporary plants. Give them full sun, cool temperatures, and ample food and water. When the foliage withers, cut the plants back to within an inch of their lives, and let them rest, without water, for 4-6 weeks in some dim location. Then place them in full sun again, and resume the feeding and watering schedule. You can grow these little roses to perfection under fluorescent lights, too.
On the second shelf, a bowl of almost-in-bloom Muscari (grape hyacinth), forced in a blue and white China bowl of pebbles and water, resides between African violets, which are always in bloom.
I hope you will obtain some of these plants for your own February landscape indoors. Believe me, just a few of them will melt your heart, if not the snow outside. Furthermore, wouldn’t you rather have a fragrant, blooming houseplant than a box of chocolates this Valentine’s Day?
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