Last updated on December 30th, 2019
December Window Garden. Happy almost-New Year! My plants and I would like to wish you all the best in 2020. And speaking of tenacious house guests — would you like to meet the denizens of the late-December window garden? They are eager to make your acquaintance:
Window Garden in December
On the broad sill: A pink miniature rose in a blue jardiniere…
Always reliable philodendron…
Out-of-bloom Thanksgiving cactus…
A large, almost-in-bloom cyclamen in a green jardiniere…
Muscari (“grape hyacinth”) that I planted in pebbles and water, and put in cold, dark storage for 8 weeks before bringing to the window garden…
And emerging crocus in a terra cotta bulb pan. Crocus, like the aforementioned Muscari, requires several weeks of cold and dark in order to bloom. Click here for details.
The first shelf is devoted to African violets in pink, blue, and purple. And guess what? During the week I photographed this window, a Nor’easter hit my region. And that’s a good thing. Flowering houseplants look their debonair best when photographed against a backdrop of frosty white! (Click here for my African Violet tutorial.)
Between the violets are vases of ‘Blue Jacket’ hyacinth. These Dutch bulbs were given 12 weeks of cold, dark treatment prior to their arrival in the window garden. Their fragrant stalks will emerge in late January. Click here for my complete hyacinth how-to.
Surveying the world on a pair of antique lamp brackets is this common green ivy. The ivy is tucked inside pale yellow jardinieres.
The star of the second glass shelf is this yellow Kalanchoe in a blue-and-white china pot.
Flanking the kalanchoe are young cyclamen in glorious white flower. I always water cyclamen from the bottom, hence the custard cups beneath each pot.
The top shelf is a study in minimalism. I simply placed a dark purple African violet there, between silver candelabra. Candelabra is extremely easy to grow. It does not demand water.
Alrighty then. Let’s talk about the guests in YOUR winter window! What’s growing/thriving/blooming for you? Spill your guts in the comments field below.
P.S. Want to outfit a window for the decorative display of houseplants? Then by all means see my tutorial How to Design A Window Garden.
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Danella on the Canadian west coast says
Looks lovely! No window garden here. Maybe someday. In the meantime I enjoy seeing yours and taking care of the few plants I have. Looking forward to spring!
My Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus bloomed in October. ?? Right now the only bloom I have is on an impatiens seedling (from last summer). Eucharis grandiflora is putting up a bud stalk! The snake plant had two lovely bloom stalks in late November. The setcreasea has a flower stalk developing. No activity on the amaryllis this year. Maybe next summer.
So nice to see some of your plants. I have a small thanksgiving cactus I grew from a cutting just this year, I was surprised it bloomed already- at the end of last month. Right now some of my african violets are blooming, and my huge schefflera is putting out another round of flowers (it bloomed for me the first time last winter, which was a surprise, I’m delighted to see it’s doing so again!) I love cyclamens, but I don’t have any right now (mine died from spider mites)
Sandra Payette says
Love your window garden, Kevin. I have a Kalanchoe that is about to burst into yellow flowers. All the rest are dormant that I brought in from the garden to sleep. That’s what they are doing. Waiting for spring just like me. Happy New Year, Kevin to you and yours. All the best in 2020.
Unfortunately, I bought a very dark house. It has plenty of windows, but it wasn’t until I lived in it I discovered how little sunlight gets in! I have some low light plants on top of the kitchen cabinets, and in one bedroom the succulents and a pilea are doing well perched on the dresser. Gasteria, snake plant, string of pearls, that sort of thing. They go outside in the summer. I can’t even have hanging plants, the electric heating is in the ceiling! I make up for it outside. Maybe I should try candelabra, I hear they don’t need much light.
Karen Mary says
Nice to meet your plants! What a lovely window! I have trouble growing African violets. They look wonderful for a while, but after months mine get tired and sickly looking. What direction does your window face, and do you have any special advice for the African violets (other than keeping water off the leaves)? Thanks for all the inspiration!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Karen Mary – I think you’ll find this post helpful: African Violets: How I Achieve Constant Bloom.
Dee A. Nash says
I always enjoy your windowsill winter garden updates. Thank you for them. Happy New Year!~~Dee
Brian S says
I grow blue morning glory starting in November in 6 inch pot with teepee trellis.
Moyra Bunger says
Kevin, I’m recommending you find some Streptocarpus plants. They are related to African Violets, and are simply stunning!
Noreen Wenger says
Thank you for your lovely window garden photo! I have five large orchids only two are flowering. But two others are growing new stocks with buds. Im so excited. First time ever. I also have ten African violets. Only four are flowering but I.m thrilled and enjoying them. They are in a bay window in Duxbury Mass and the trick is to keep them warm enough this Winter! Tuly love your newsletter! Happy New Year to you both.
Best wishes, Noreen
Lu Narine says
Thanks for the peek at your window garden, lovely! I have taken pictures of my table in west front window in Regina, SK, Canada with a backdrop of hoar-frosted trees, but didn’t see how to attach pictures in the Ask Kevin tab. Know that I had your website open for a few weeks (one of my FAVOURITES) as I kept checking on directions. I’m just about to bring out the 11 hyacinth which have many many roots and stem/bud starting. I had bought many bags of discounted grape hyacinth bulbs which had already partially sprouted; some planted in a navy forcing dish… another couple in stone-filled bowls in the cold basement. In the window the leaves on these are 16″ long but no flowerbuds yet, despite a ceiling growlight and noon til dusk sun. I’ve had many paperwhites in soil bloom and finish, I’ll keep alive in my greenhouse to plant outdoors in the spring, many other paperwhites are just about to open. The main attraction currently is the dozen amaryllis in the window of various colours, new ones opening now. The one which was fully open Christmas Day had 6 huge Miranda orange/white blooms which measured in total one foot across. Dozens of other amaryllis in greenhouse. I’ll go now to check on the other Chironda (sp), snowdrops and crocus which are in the basement awaiting their debut. I have some 60 mixed daffodils (many I dug up in fall) which also sprouted so I replanted them under growlights and they are gaining height and vigour every day. Have to chuckle, I still have my tiny kitchen sink area filled with tulip bulbs and more, various vases and clay pots, bags of stones – one sink hasn’t been empty in 6 weeks. Time to reclaim my kitchen… think I’ll just put the leftover 80 tulips etc in the coldroom and plant them next spring.. My African Violets haven’t bloomed so I’ll recheck your blog on it. Best of 2020 to you and the fox and the menagerie of household friends that keep you company. From your so-many friends: Thanks for all that you do and a new view of cherished flowers. Reminder to folks that if they have a conservatory in their hometown, to go enjoy a stroll and breath the fresh oxygenated air like I did yesterday! I remain jealous of the southern climes that abloom year round – course I’d never get around to cleaning my house if I could be in the garden always, smile. Happy New Year Everyone!!!!!
I love your window garden. Living in Florida, I am jealous of your Crocus and Hyacinth. And like you, I have always had “a love affair” with my African Violets.
I wrote this many years ago. https://maxinethomashomes.blogspot.com/2009/01/african-violetnot-just-your.html
Jacqueline Guest says
Dearest Kevin and Mr. Fox,
Thanks for all the smiles over the last year. I’m looking forward to more home and garden adventures in 2020.
Happy New Year!
Out of curiosity, Why do you water your cyclamen from below? Love the inspiration!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Michelle – With cyclamen, top watering can invite crown rot. Since the plant wants very wet soil during its luxuriously-long bloom period, bottom watering is the way to go.
Hi, i just came across your articles about an hour ago. I read the article about the african violets and found it very helpful. I am loving your stuff. Thank you so much for writting!