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009When Christmas ends and the weather is cold and gloomy, I like to give myself a miniature garden on my kitchen windowsill.  To the left of the sink, the Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia millii) has grown tall and bumps into the curtains, so it now lives on the counter, where its perky red flowers still benefit from the bright light and late afternoon sun streaming through the west-southwest facing window.  Two Paperwhite Narcissus stand tall behind the bright burgundy of what I’ve been told is a gizzard plant.020  My favorites for January, though, are the potted primroses (Primula acaulis) widely available now in grocery and home improvement stores.  I buy several of these sweeties every year at this time.  They will bloom profusely in this bright window until May, as long as I do two things for them.  First, I must keep them watered.  As soon as I notice a bit of droop in the leaves, I give them a drink.  Depending on the strength of the late day sun, that could be every day or twice a week.  The good news is that the foliage recovers well from a full wilt, though some of the buds may not.  Second, I must dead-head the spent flowers regularly.  Pinching the dead flowers off near the base of their stems not only keeps the plant prettier, but more importantly prevents the plant from putting its energy into making seeds rather than new buds.021

Once the weather grows warm and the sunlight is much stronger, these primroses are done.  Primula acaulis is not the same hardy, perennial primrose of my grandmother’s garden, so once the plants show no signs of producing more flowers, it’s a quick trip to the compost bin for them.  Until then, I look forward to three or four months of my beautiful windowsill garden.  016What’s blooming at your house, in your windowsills, or in your yards?  Write about it and then add your link to the Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day meme hosted every month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.