Spring Preview: Winter Windowsill Flowers

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Spring Preview: Winter Windowsill Flowers

Categories: Blog, Garden Guru

Come sit a spell in the beautiful “Feather Your Nest” display at the Powell Gardens’ conservatory and you can experience some of the wonderful flowers for the winter windowsill. Many of our most gorgeous flowers require short, cool days to do their best so they are a winter only flowers in Kansas City. Winter is truly waning outside and we all have spring fever for the fragrance and color of flowers!

Blue-flowering Cineraria with silver-leaved Dusty Miller and a white-flowering Cyclamen create a gorgeous composition in the Webster House Garden Room display in the far left corner of the conservatory.
Vivid fuchsia Cinerarias (above) and Kalanchoes (below — pronounced kal-en-ko’-ee) compose similar vibrant colors.

New hybrids of Cyclamen continue to amaze me with their unique range of flower colors and foliage patterns. All the hybrids are derived from just ONE species: Cyclamen persicum.

How about this Cyclamen with lighter edged rich pink flowers and silver edged leaves!

Hybrids of Kalanchoes also show an amazing array of flower colors from this hot pink to white, light pink, yellows, orange and reds. Kalanchoes are succulents and a more adapted to the average dry air of a winter home. They need to dry out between watering for best results. They are easy to keep from year to year but will only bloom in the short days of winter.

Pink Fairy Primroses (Primula malacoides) are a favorite of winter windowsills. They must be kept in a cool, bright window and not be allowed to dry out between watering.

This picture shows Kalanchoe on top, lavender Stocks (Matthiola incana) in the middle and Cyclamen at the bottom in the display. Stocks are a wonderful cool season annual that will bloom well in a sunny indoor window and thrive outdoors from mid-March into May. Their intense spicy fragrance is one of the most memorable of spring.

Red Powder Puff (Calliandra haematocephala) is also blooming in the display. This is actually a shrub from Bolivia but does well in containers here and can be brought indoors to a sunny window for the winter.
Come out for a visit to get a preview of spring with these flowers in the Powell Gardens conservatory. The birds are a delight all around the Visitor Education Center and on the grounds as well.
It is the Great Backyard Bird Count on Sunday, February 20, 2011, at Powell Gardens so come to participate in that if you want to learn more about birds. Winter is waning and the Killdeer are back, the Vernal Witchhazels in bloom and the Snowdrops on their way too. The Byron Shutz Nature Trail is open but requires boots because of all the melted snow. A Great Horned Owl is soon to hatch her winter clutch of eggs on last year’s Red-tailed Hawk nest on the trail. Everything from geese to eagles, blackbirds to robins should be on the move back northward so it should be a great weekend for the Great Backyard Bird Count. Spring Peepers (a species of frog) were heard this morning so all the signs are there that a new season is on its way — I love the anticipation of this time of year. Monday will mark only one more month until the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring!