Saturday, February 16, 2019

Momento Vivere

icicles minnesota cold winter
Forty five days beyond the solstice in this coldest of states...

geranium bud blooms in winter potted overwintering
 ...buds form on plants dug up this past October.

salvia overwintering potted plants in winter blooming
The sun's elevation is high enough to energize plants placed below the sills of windows; the salvias and pelargoniums, the capsicum and rosmarinus.

pelargonium over wintering geranium house plant potted plant
In the long winter everyone has their coping strategy, but a good dose of sunlit snow, long blue shadows, and eager plants are a reminder at five degrees below zero.

pelargonium over wintering geranium house plant potted plant
 Pelargonium, otherwise known as geranium, will go into its third outdoor season, late this May.

overwintering capsicum, hot peppers, potted peppers as houseplants
Three weeks back, this pepper plant was profuse with blooms. Now it is, as far as overwintering peppers that were dug from the garden can be, profuse with fruit.

overwintering peppers, potted peppers, capsicum, winter fruit
 The petals stick to the fruit without wind to shake or rain to wash them toward the ground.

overwintering capsicum, jalepeno peppers, potted peppers as houseplants
Last year, this jalapeno, a thick and woody stemmed specimen twice ripped from its raised bed, produced winter flowers but no February fruit. It is now getting ready to produce flowers again. Time will tell if it is as up to the task as its cousin across the room. Two summers running, this pepper has produced a fine crop of jalapenos.

flowering blue salvia overwintering in a pot taken from garden bed as a houseplant
A long raceme of indigo blue flowers emerge from near-black calyxes seen in the second image above.

flowering salvia elegans pineapple sage blooms indoors overwintering garden bed houseplant
Salvia elegans, or pineapple sage, pushed into perenniality in my New York City garden, is now pushed into houseplant duty every October. We usually get a week or so of blooms in the garden beds before a freeze forces it into a pot, then into the greenhouse, then into the studio, and finally resting in the sunny south window, where it blooms in February, once again.


  1. Oh, the joys (in your case, the necessity) of a greenhouse! In retirement, i took horticulture classes at the community college, and my favorite part was watching plants "come to life" in the late winter. Wish i had space for a wee greenhouse so that i could enjoy that at home. This is what gives us assurance that spring is actually on the way. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. webb, these are in a south facing window in the regular house! The greenhouse is only about 5℉ warmer than the outdoor temperature.


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