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The Windowsill Garden of Winter: GBBD, January 2016

January 15, 2016

windowsill winter gardenI apologize for my two weeks of garden blog silence; I have worked on several posts but have been struggling with a bit of writer’s block. Happily, the prospect of a new year of monthly bloom reports was enough to get me unstuck.

Although winter was delayed this year, it has finally arrived in my Maine garden. It now looks and feels like January, and my garden is snug under its snowy duvet. This is the time of year when my windowsill garden of flowering houseplants brings me special pleasure.

In my cool house, the potted cyclamen are the energizer bunnies of houseplants; they just keep blooming and blooming. My original gift cyclamen, now more than 20 years old, continues to bloom profusely. pink cyclamen 2016
pink and white cyclamen 2016 Several years ago, I combined two separate plants, one white and one pink, in this pot. Last month, I had only white flowers and buds, and I thought maybe the pink corm had died out. But it turns out the pink flowers were just delayed and have now joined the white ones.
On the glass plant shelves by the big window in my bedroom, the red cyclamen, which was just beginning to open its first flower last month, is now going strong. I never tire of the vivid color of these flowers. red cyclamen 2016
charisma bud I had hoped I might be able to share the beautiful flowers of amaryllis (Hippeastrum) ‘Charisma’ on this bloom day, but its bud has not yet begun to open.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what else is in bloom this month (including summer blooms from our gardening friends in the southern hemisphere!).

26 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2016 10:45 pm

    Hi Jean Happy New Year! At least you are very successful with your windowsill garden whe out there is all white. Even if we dont have winter i also have windowsill and small indoor garden in the city where i dont have grounds coz i live in condo unit. If i were there my choices will alsobe cyclamen and hippeastrum indoors and snowdrops and crocus outdoors! Keep warm, hapi GBBD!

    • January 18, 2016 7:38 pm

      Andrea, In my winter white world, vivid color flowers are particularly welcome. I must admit that I’ve never gotten addicted to snowdrops, because after months of white, white flowers are not what I’m craving. But those intensely colored crocuses? Yes!

  2. Ellen Bear permalink
    January 15, 2016 10:53 pm


  3. January 16, 2016 10:46 am

    Happy New Year! I like your pink and white cyclamen combination.

    • January 18, 2016 7:39 pm

      Cathy, I like that combination, too. Happy New Year.

  4. January 16, 2016 3:58 pm

    we have Charisma to look forward to!

    • January 18, 2016 7:41 pm

      Diana, We do, indeed, have Charisma to look forward to. I think I detected the first hints of its bud starting to open today. And Charisma, with its red-flecked translucent petals, really lives up to its name.

  5. January 16, 2016 4:33 pm

    Your gorgeous house plants are such a wonderful mood lifter. Anyone who writes for any period time has a patch of writers block from time to time.

    • January 18, 2016 7:44 pm

      Charlie, “Mood lifter” is a great description. Those beautiful flowers make me smile every day. I find that the cure for writer’s block is the same as the prevention, sticking to a regular schedule of writing every day (even if I don’t feel like it). Today, I set the timer for one hour and forced myself to stay at my desk and write until the hour was up; and after about 15 minutes, the ideas started to flow — so much so that I didn’t stop at the end of the hour.

  6. January 16, 2016 11:26 pm

    You are right to be proud of and pleased with your windowsill garden. I love those bright pink cyclamen!

    • January 18, 2016 7:46 pm

      Kris, Those intensely colored flowers are important to my sanity during the long months of white here. I love winter, but I need some splashes of color to punctuate the white.

  7. January 17, 2016 10:04 am

    I love the pink and white cyclamen together in the same pot!

    • January 18, 2016 7:47 pm

      Lea, I think that combination was the serendipitous result of being one pot short the last time I needed to repot these.

  8. January 17, 2016 6:25 pm

    A stunning windowsill garden and if I see cyclamen int he store this week, I am picking some up!

    • January 18, 2016 7:48 pm

      Donna, Cyclamen have a reputation for being difficult, but I think that’s only if the environment is too warm for them or if you make the common mistake of thinking they’re dead the first time they drop all their leaves and go into dormancy.

  9. debsgarden permalink
    January 17, 2016 6:46 pm

    Your windowsill garden must be especially delightful with a background of snow! I love your cyclamen; what a great idea to combine the pink and white in a single pot.

    • January 18, 2016 7:50 pm

      Deb, Yes. The fact that we have 3-5 months of snow cover here makes the windowsill garden all the more delightful. The white world outside makes those colors both more intense and more welcome.

  10. January 18, 2016 8:29 am

    As usual looks wonderful!

  11. January 18, 2016 4:59 pm

    Quite a cheerful windowsill garden you have there.

    • January 18, 2016 7:52 pm

      Jason, I find it important to have sources of cheerfulness during the winter months. I love winter and have never had any problem with S.A.D., but when winter starts to feel old, I am cheered by having colors other than white, gray and green in my world.

  12. joenesgarden permalink
    January 20, 2016 8:58 pm

    I always enjoy your cyclamen photos, Jean.

    • January 21, 2016 9:47 pm

      Joene, I enjoy those cyclamen blooms much of the year, but never so much as this time of year.

  13. January 24, 2016 6:48 am

    Hello Jean, I’m always impressed by your array of indoor winter flowering plants, they’re so bright and uplifting, very different to the weather. We did away with our Amaryllis as it just kept on dividing instead of flowering. We have orchids but the other plants are flower-less such as Kentia Palms and Dracaena. As we create the garden, I’m hoping to build up a collection of winter flowering plants and shrubs to enjoy to make up for the lack indoors.

    • January 25, 2016 11:08 pm

      Sunil, I also had problems with the amaryllis bulbs dividing instead of flowering. I think part of the problem is that many of those for sale are jumbo bulbs that are just about ready to divide. This year, I have two with flowers buds out of 11 pots. One of these is flowering for the third or fourth year in a row and I think will probably take a rest and produce an offset next year. The other, however, is flowering again after producing an offset two years ago and then taking an additional year to renew itself.

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