New windows, garlic greens, and other things.

Sooooo…I’m waiting patiently (okay, maybe not so patiently – who am I kidding, really?) for the snow to melt here and in the meantime things are happening on my windowsill.

I mean, REALLY happening.  A couple of weeks ago, maintenance staff arrived with new windows for our apartment building.  It was definitely cause for celebration, as our previous windows were at least two decades old – probably more like three –  and we were having issues with ice building up between the panes (especially as one of them had a small hole in it).  The hardware wasn’t working smoothly anymore, either.  Of course, once the new windows were installed, I couldn’t bear the sight of the chipped windowsill, and we had some imperfections on the wall from when we had blinds put up a few years ago, so out came the filler and the paint.  I’m extremely pleased with the results – but now I think the whole place needs new paint!  UGH.

The African violets are certainly happy with the new windows and the sunshine.  These two bloom frequently, every 2 to 3 months or so.  I have a couple of others as well, but the one looks to be on its last legs and the other hasn’t bloomed in about a year.


African violet - 11 March 2014

And there’s a leaf cutting I started a couple of months ago.  I wish I could say it is from the plant that is dying, but it’s not – I didn’t have the forethought to take a cutting and now the mother plant is so far gone I don’t think it would be useful to try.  It’s too bad – the pale pink flowers were so pretty and delicate, almost sugary-looking.


African violet pink

I keep buying cacti – with my watering habits (“when I remember to, which is often nearly too late”), they seem to thrive.  I was all excited when I brought this Mammillaria spinosissima home, thinking I had a new-to-me species until my hubby reminded me I already had one. (My excuse is that the “red head” on my established one has long grown out).  I don’t know how he remembered this and I didn’t – I honestly thought he wasn’t paying attention.  Good thing I don’t buy designer shoes or handbags – he’d call me on them every time.  😉


And I’ve been growing garlic greens!  I planted a LOT of garlic in my community garden bed last fall, both bulbils and bulbs, but I still had some bulbils left and I really wanted to use them up, so I popped them into a pot and voila!  Fresh greens in less than two weeks. It’s been so nice to use them in cooking.


I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!  What home and garden projects have you been working on lately?



  1. I have a lovely African violaet too and I got it to bloom twice. At the moment it is just leaves, but still looks nice. I am as bad as you with watering, sometimes I over water them and then I forget….. I have got a plant a green one form my mum and that one survives everything! I don’t know what iti is called though!

    • The photo in my header was taken in January at a natural reserve called Cross Conservation Area, just south of the city of Calgary. It’s a wonderful place to hike or snowshoe, there’s always some sort of wildlife to see. I took the photo as I was looking west, towards the Rockies.

      I’m glad spring has sprung for you! Enjoy all the fabulous weather and flowers! 🙂

      • Hi Sheryl thanks for telling me where the pic is, Canada is a beautiful beautifiul country full of lovely canadians, maple syrup, snowy mountains, nature and foie gras (if my gourmet edition on montreal from 1996 is to be believed) – I have sworn off the last item on my list, for reasons of animal welfare, although it pains me as I love it, but always up for a glass of icewine and grand vista!

    • Yes, that’s all there is to it…some people will put a bit of rooting hormone on the base of the stem, but it’s really not necessary. It takes time for the cutting to root, sometimes several months, but eventually you’ll see new growth.

  2. Garlic in a pot for micro greens sounds good, is the flavour subtle, I have not tried it. We have been attempting to finish off a couple of building projects in the garden then like you one thing leads to another….so still lots to do!

    • Yes, the flavour is quite mild, but distinctively garlicky. Not as strong as the bulbs or scapes. Very tasty.

      Good luck with all your building projects, it’s always so exciting to see everything coming together, isn’t it? Have a wonderful week!

    • I agree with you about the painting! 🙂 I find I don’t really like all the preparation that comes with the job – all the taping off and filling and sanding…I’d rather just get going with applying the paint! But it’s worth it when it’s finished, that’s for sure!

      What types of plants are you growing from seed this year?

  3. That’s a good idea – I have never eaten garlic greens but love anything garlicky! I have sowed a few sweet peas and cornflowers this week, and hopefully I’ll have time to sow some more flowers and herbs this week. Have a good week Sheryl, and hope the snow melts really fast now! 😀

    • You would love garlic greens, I think – such a wonderful mild garlic flavour!

      How fantastic that you get to sow seeds already! And sweet peas are my favourite…you cannot beat that fragrance.

      I think the snow might vanish a bit today, as we’re expecting a high temperature of +16 degrees Celsius. It will feel like summer, I think! 😉

      Enjoy your week!

  4. We aren’t anywhere near gardening outdoors so I’ve been messing around indoors with houseplants and trying to propagate geraniums. Maybe cacti would meet my needs . . . good luck with good weather!

    • I remember when I used to work at a garden centre, I would recommend to customers to save over their geraniums in the winter and everyone looked at me as if I was crazy. They make wonderful houseplants, though! Do you put yours outside in the summertime, then, or keep them indoors always?

      I’m a big fan of cacti, so I think everyone ought to have at least one…. 😉 I have a plan now to transplant the ones I have into a big shallow bowl a friend gave me last year…maybe this week I’ll get that accomplished.

      Have a wonderful week!

  5. African Violets seem to love apartment living. At least, mine did. I had lots in our New York apartment, yet I can’t get them to grow at all in my house in NZ. What a great idea to grow garlic greens in a pot. That may be a good project for me.

    • I’d definitely recommend trying out the garlic greens – it’s so nice to have them ready for cooking! They grow so fast, too, it’s fun to watch them.

      There may be something to your idea about African violets and apartment living! I wonder if I should launch an informal poll and find out more? 🙂

      Have a fantastic week! I’m so glad to see you’re back to blogging again!

  6. Now I need to go look up garlic bulbil!
    I split one big violet which was in a way too small pot and while the leaves are healthy and the pots are in a great spot, I’ve not seen flowers yet. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    New windows to bring in all that lovely light! YAY!
    My big spring thing so far was abolishing the guilt and having someone come clean out the flower beds and spread mulch. They did in one day what would have taken me 4 weekends.
    Now … to figure out what to plant!

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