It’s hard to believe that it’s time to start seeds for the 2021 summer garden! As I sit at my computer I can see freezing rain falling outside, coating all the trees in a layer of sparkling beauty. When you grow onions from seed, they need started early in the year. Valentine’s Day is the usual day when I sow all the alliums, a flat of lettuce in case of an early thaw, and a few celery plants as well. I’m eager to get back out into the garden, happy to have that refuge, until then planning will give me something to do.
Growing onions from seed is something I’ve enjoyed doing from the beginning. This year I added a few new varieties to my old favorites: Patterson (a favorite for long storage), Redwing (great red onion that stores into spring), Purplette (a quick to harvest small red onion that’s perfect for summer eating), Ailsa Craig (a large sweet variety for fresh eating in summer), Cabernet (new to me variety this year that’s supposed to be great for fresh eating an storing), Italian Red of Florence (I often grow a red scallion, this variety is new to me this year).
Those freesia bulbs I started last fall have been blooming. Overall they’re OK, but I won’t be growing them again. I may try other bulbs for winter blooms (anyone have any recommendations?).
A few weeks ago I found a nice weeping blue ginger (Dichorisandra pendula) at a local shop. I’m always looking for interesting houseplants, especially ones that bloom during the winter. This one wasn’t blooming at the time, but it’s been blooming ever since. I repotted it when I got it home and it seems to be enjoying this south facing window in the living room.
In other areas other areas of the house, the Christmas cactuses are blooming again. I have three that have been blooming off and on since Thanksgiving.
It’s amazing that I didn’t have one of these schlumbergera bridgessii until a few years ago when my neighbor gave me an Easter cactus. Ever since I’ve been getting starts from friends and buying new colors when I see them. So far I have 5-6 different varieties and many starts from each of these varieties. They’re a joy to have during these long, dark days.
My African violets are banging along as well, I’ve been starting more and more from two original plants (one of which is pictured above). They were a favorite houseplant of my grandmother, she always had a few in her kitchen windowsill. This one makes me smile whenever I see it, whether it’s blooming or not. It seems to be blooming 8 months of the year, I think it likes the water from rinsing my coffee cup each morning, perhaps it’s the milk that feeds it well.
How’s your winter garden growing? Have you started any seeds yet? Acquired any new houseplants?