YES, I KNOW IT’S NEARLY WINTER, but the plants in my upstairs bath are convinced that June has arrived. Would you like to meet these intrepid bloomers? Say “hello” in this photo gallery, and then I hope you’ll tell me what’s blooming in your own window garden:
This garden, which faces east, was made at an ordinary window that I outfitted with glass shelves and a broad sill. It is a cold window. There is no storm-sash — I removed it. I also removed the radiator from the room. Houseplants thrive in the humid conditions a cool room affords.
Now onto the houseplants:
On the sill, front row: a pink florist’s azalea and a purple African violet are flanked by a pair of Davallia fejeensis. Second row: a pink miniature rose (left); Pelargonium ‘Puritan White’ (center); and a newly-divided Boston fern, right.
A florist’s azalea will stay with you for years. Give it cool temperatures and daily water, and you can count on blooms for up to three months. In summer, keep the plant well-watered and fed (use an acidic formula), and flower buds will form in autumn.
Miniature roses are keepers, too. I recently picked up three from a local supermarket (two are in the Music Room downstairs). These want cool temperatures, moisture, and full sun (as much as that is possible in winter). When flowers fade, withhold all food and water, and give the plants a 3-week rest in a dim location. Then return the roses to full sun, resume watering, feed with a high-phosphorous formula, and a new crop of flower buds will quickly emerge.
First shelf: African violets. Okay, these do not love the cold. But they certainly enjoy moderate humidity. If you give them full winter sun, and pamper them with a high-phosphorous food, they will bloom for you almost continuously. I water mine from the top, but only with room-temperature or slightly-warmer water. Leaf spotting occurs when the temperature of the water is colder than the temperature of the leaves.
But you probably already knew this.
On the brackets: Persian cyclamens in pastel-pink. They are in clay pots that I painted periwinkle blue. The pots are set in glass bowls, because cyclamen is best watered from below. Details for growing and re-blooming this Cyclamen persicum.
I could go on and on. But instead, I’ll do a complete feature on African violets in a future post.
Can you tell that I love African violets?
There. I hope you enjoyed this little garden tour. Mind telling me what’s blooming in your own windows?
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