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:

Kitchen Window

Stunning Schlumbergera

Stunning Schlumbergera

When we remodeled our kitchen nearly a decade ago, we enlarged the kitchen window.  Not only is it wider and taller, it’s also deeper.  I’ve kept things growing there ever since.  It’s the perfect spot for plants, with indirect light, kitchen humidity and absolutely no excuse to forget to water the plants.

plants in the window

Trio of plants on the kitchen windowsill

Many of my houseplants outgrew their small pots and no longer fit in the window.  These Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera cultivar) are another story.  They like cramped roots and require very little care.  The plant in the center is new, but the plant on the right is 17 years old.  I gave it to my husband for Christmas, one year. He’s always been a fan of these pretty plants.  The plant on the left  side of the window was a house-warming gift and is now ten.

soft pink bud

Soft pink bud

I think it’s finally time to re-pot.  I’ve been searching for just the right vessel but without much luck.  The pots I like are either too small, too large, missing a hole in the bottom, etc.  You know the drill.

I decided to buy three clay pots and try my hand at decoupage.  Last year I added gold leaf to my outdoor clay pots with pleasing results.  It was also a lot of fun.

I saved the ‘wrapper’ from a pair of  hydrangea  with this project in mind.  It has a pretty, watercolor affect and it’s durable.  In fact, the wrapper is made from rock.  Pretty cool, eh?

Like a lot of things I want to do, but haven’t tried before, I’ve been procrastinating.  Now it’s time to get to it.  I hope they turn out well.

Do you procrastinate when you’re afraid to try something new?

SummerWinds Nursery: A Sea of Red Splendor

Red Bow on a TreeSummerWinds Nursery opened their tree lot this weekend, setting up temporary quarters in the parking lot. The building, destroyed by fire last summer, is gone, but the spirit of the nursery lives on. While SummerWinds awaits rebuilding permits, they’ve set up a well-stocked shop filled with holiday greenery and a lot of red. The displays were so alluring that I briefly considered the Noah’s Ark approach to gardening: two of each!  I restrained myself (sort of) and limited my purchases to a few plants and some holiday greens.

Here’s what came home:

Shooting Star™ Hydrangea (from hana bay flowers)

This plant is stunning.  It’s one of the Lace Cap varieties, with large clusters of star-like flowers toward the outer branches, with smaller white flowers below.  We’ll keep it indoors for the winter, then will plant it in the garden next spring.

Shooting Star Hydrangea

Shooting Star Hydrangea

Shooting Star Hydrangea Closeup

Zygocactus (Schlumbergera truncata)

We have two fuchsia Zygocactus living the good life in our kitchen bay window.  They’re super easy to grow.  They usually bloom around Christmas, hence the nickname “Christmas Cactus.”  Interestingly, ours bloom twice a year.  My husband spotted the light pink variety at SummerWinds, so into our arms it went. Things look better grouped in threes anyway, don’t you think?  It’s bursting with blooms, a bit ahead of the two on the sill, but I know they will catch up soon.

Zygocactus in Bloom

Zygocactus in Bloom

Miniature Cyclamens

Oh my goodness, these tiny plants are the cutest.  Each one weighs a mere two ounces, standing no taller than a seed packet.  I bought a pair for the Fairy Garden.  Watch for their debut later this week.

Evergreen Door Charm

A lovely bunch of greens and a pine cone or three greet our guests.

Front door greens


An excuse to smooch.

If you live in the area, be sure to drop in. You’ll be glad you did. Here’s a peak:

SummerWinds Poinsettia

SummerWinds Cyclamens

SummerWinds Wreaths and greens


Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)

I bought my husband this lovely specimen over a decade ago. It arrived in the mail covered with buds. Within a week it was laden with magnificent blooms, a testament to the climate-controlled greenhouse it came from. It didn’t bloom again for a few years, until it found the perfect home in our kitchen window.

The Schlumbergera puts out flowers two or three times a year, usually May and November and occasionally January. I was congratulating myself for reviving this plant, till I read here how easy they are to grow. Apparently all it needed was the indirect light and humidity the kitchen had to offer, and Mother Nature took care of the rest.

Window plants are quite cheering, especially during the colder months. Washing dishes is less of a chore when you have lovely fuchsia blooms holding court on the sill.