My Crowded Kitchen Windowsill

When we remodeled our kitchen over a decade ago, one of the biggest perks was our expanded kitchen window. The designer suggested bringing the window down to counter height, then extending it out. I would have all that room to garden indoors.

kitchen window before and after

Our Kitchen Window, Before and After Remodel

Since then, my kitchen windowsill has gotten a little crowded.

Avocado Pits

My youngest son started growing avocado pits again, after finally succeeding with this one.

avocado pit collage

Growing Avocado Plants

It looks leggy but I’m under strict orders not to trim it back, even with my plausible explanation that it will fill out if we do. That’s okay. I live with two teenage boys, so I’m used to being the one that doesn’t know anything. I’m not complaining too loudly. It’s nice to see him show an interest in plants again after a brief hiatus.

Christmas Cactus

I re-potted three “Christmas Cactus” last year after covering clay pots with up-cycled Petra Paper. The pots held up well. Two of the three plants are flowering now, but the third and largest hasn’t bloomed for a few years.

Christmas Cactus

Fuchsia Christmas Cactus

covered petra paper pots

Covered Petra Paper Pots

A bit of research revealed this: I actually have two Christmas Cactus and one Easter Cactus. They flower at different times. I love Google!

Easter Cactus, left; Pair of Christmas Cactus, right

Easter Cactus, left; Pair of Christmas Cactus, right

The Easter Cactus is nearly twenty years old, so I wonder if the plant’s flowering days are over? Expecting it to flower in December, however, is pure folly.

Hyacinth Bulbs

Hyacinth are one of my favorite flowering bulbs. They’re both beautiful and fragrant and come back year after year. I bought a new variety known as William and Kate this year, and planted three of them indoors. The rest of the bulbs are in a garden pot just outside the back door.

William and Kate Hyacinth

William and Kate Hyacinth (I don’t know who’s who!)

hyacinth bud

Hyacinth bud

I’m also planting some Paper Whites indoors this year. I’ll write more later this week.

Windowsill Transformed:

Here’s my windowsill this morning after cleaning the counter tops and window:

kitchen windowsill

Kitchen windowsill with plenty of room

Here it is again with our indoor garden in place.

My Crowded Kitchen Windowsill

My Crowded Kitchen Windowsill

Additional Reading:

24 thoughts on “My Crowded Kitchen Windowsill

  1. I have one of those! The thing you call a Christmas Cactus, which I call – and I can’t remember the name of at the minute. [Isn’t it amazing how blank the mind can go at the most inconvenient moments!] I love your window sill – all windows should be like that in my opinion – imagine how much extra space every room would gain and all the plants that could be grown…….. sigh! I just saw something on face book that piqued my interest, growing lemon trees inside, from seed and having lemons in five or six years…..though maybe I could just buy a grafted tree and have lemons immediately ๐Ÿ™‚

    I had to go look it up and your Christmas Cactus is unromantically called by it’s botanical name here schlumbergera. I wonder why we kiwis are so prosaic? It also has a common name – which of course I also can’t recall at the moment ….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for looking it up, Pauline. I know it by that botanical name too, but they’re so commonly referred to around here by the layperson’s term. Can you grow them inside and out with your local climate?

      Oh yes, the blank mind. I’m well familiar with that phenomenon. Isn’t it frustrating when you know what you want to say, but the words and terms escape you? They’re in ‘there’ somewhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

      It would be nice to have more than one of these windows. The added benefit of having it in the kitchen is the non-porous surface and easy access to water, but why not carry that forth into bedrooms, living areas and the like. We can start a trend.

      I wonder how the lemon’s are able to grow inside without pollination? Do you pollinate yourself? It’s a great idea. Imagine how wonderful the house would smell. Mmmmm.


  2. My 20 year old Christmas cactus died in 2014…..I was sad for awhile, but now that we are moving I see that is all part of this bigger plan. I do hope I can relocate my jade plant. It is a transplant from my yard at Fort Ord. …..nearly 25 years old. It is interesting they way we get attached to a plant.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A true gardener: plants all over the sill. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ya know, I would LOVE to meet someone who actually had success sprouting avocado seeds. There’s such a thing as an Easter cactus? It’s so interesting how plants decide to bloom. Momma’s aloe vera plant bloomed last year after like 7 years. Crazy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s nice to have plants inside. I can’t believe your kitties don’t bother them. My silly cats have all but killed my palm tree. Tearing one poor leaf off at a time. I tried to keep it in the library but with the Christmas tree in there, the door was open more often and Petals is a gangster of opportunity. I’ve even closed her in there more than once since she sneaks in behind me and hides. What a goof. (Petals not me, HA)
    I’m really excited for gardening this year. I would like to re-plan the curb garden and set out a few more perennials and plan sweet peas. I miss them so much. Did you see Pauline’s on her post the other day? Does anything grow in your curb garden in these months?
    I linked to the Christmas Cactus info. Sounds like the same routine you’d use with Poinsettia’s. Maybe your window is too warm and too bright for the Easter Cactus being that by April it’s pretty nice in San Jose. ?? Good luck. The Christmas Cactus are really pretty. I remember the post where you did the paper on the pots. It’s holding up really well! I’m still loving my Winter pot and should post a picture before spring LOL. I see you’ve hung a wreath out near the patio. What was it made of? Have you seen the one’s made of lavender? Probably not great for outdoors but omgosh they smell great. xox k

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an incredible before and after shot, Alys! Installing an extended windowsill was inspired – a mini-greenhouse of sorts. I could start my tomatoes on one and grow some herbs maybe. In fact, yes, very quickly it would probably turn into a “window jungle”. You’ve kept yours very neat – a beautiful diversion from your sneaky and uninvited house guest. I know your rodent issue is absolutely nothing to laugh about but I couldn’t help spitting my cup of tea all over the place when I saw Mighty Mouse front and centre and nose in the middle of every picture in one of your recent posts. He is a beautiful and funny cat, indeed. Can’t wait to see if the avocado tree kicks on. xoxoxoxox


  6. That’s such a good idea to extend the window for extra shelf space for plants…. got me thinking! I also have a Christmas cactus that hasn’t flowered yet… maybe it’s an Easter one after all!


  7. Leave it to you Alys, to have an indoor garden! It looks gorgeous. Garden Nirvana indeed! Outside in the garden I am quite OK but indoor plants…no matter what google told me, I killed them;0) Lovely too to have a teenager with an interest in plants. You are such a wise mom! And oh well, don’t I know the attitude of those growing boys ;0) Yes, we moms have the secret code…never say ” I know better” nor ” I told you so”…just stand back and a little knowing wriggle of eye brows afterwards ( when proven right of course;0)) is enough! xoxoxJohanna


    • Johanna, seeing your fully raised and successful Walker boys reminds me that ‘this too shall pass.’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I actually started gardening indoors as a teenage girl, then moved my way out as place and space permitted. Isn’t that funny? I move plants around until they find the place they’re happy, then try to leave them in position. It’s tricky in the winter with heater’s running not to dry things out, but here, many of the plants that do well indoors like the heat, as long as you balance that with humidity. Most of my plants are in the kitchen or in our living room which has lots of natural, filtered light.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My Aunt had a window in her kitchen turned into something similar to yours, and like yours, is full of light and lovely plants.
    The avocado seeds with toothpicks reminds me so much of my mother! It seems like she was always growing “leggy plants” just like yours.
    And one more comment from another woman in my family (me) – I have several cactus (cacti?) and I jokingly say that one is Christmas, one Thanksgiving, one halloween. Guess I need to do a bit of research. I assumed the bloom time was related to which window / which direction.
    I devoted this whole evening to get caught up on blogs. It’s so easy to get behind, isn’t it? But catching up is like a short but sweet visit with friends.


    • I like that: a short, sweet visit with friends. It is indeed.

      I’m always learning, and find that I challenge my own assumptions about a lot of things when I dig a bit deeper into research for my blog. It keeps it interesting. Even though I’ve had that cacti for 20 years, it was only this week that I realized how different the leaves were and that it was a different type altogether.

      Does your mom still grow avocado pits?


  9. Happy New Year and the extended window looks fabulous – I also also like the look of your paper pots. I have some of the same plant and I call them Zygocactus. I was going to provide you with a link to a photo of mine .. but can’t find the specific post now!!


    • I’m replying in reverse, so yes and thank you. I’ve heard them referred to as Zygocactus as well. I just can never remember to say it until someone like you shares the term. ๐Ÿ™‚

      It was fun decorating those pots with the PetraPaper. I would like to do more of those projects, time permitting.


  10. I love a garden window and always wanted one. It wouldn’t make any difference here because all the windows are covered by porches. No good light. The window in my kitchen is so high and off kilter I can’t even reach it. I grow almost nothing inside here. One of the drawbacks to this place. Your plants look so happy and I am surprised by the avocado seed sprouting. It could never be a fruit bearing tree though, could it?


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