Back in the day, my Mom had a friend named Paul with a gorgeous penthouse on the water in Victoria. Along the hall from the elevator to his condo he grew pots of geraniums in front of the windows, inside, year round. I copied his idea at our old house and in 2009 grew geraniums in my Ladner kitchen all winter.
We don’t feel like working too terribly hard these days but chores do still need to get done. September 1st and it was 12 degrees outside when we got up this morning with a balmy 17 degrees inside. We aren’t there yet, but it did make us think about preparing for mornings when we will need to light the wood stove.
I can be a messy cook and with the amount of use the top of our wood stove gets in the winter, it needs a good clean and repaint every year. There are always traces of cooked tomato sauce and soup on its top at the end of the season.
The stove chimney has now had its annual clean and the inside of the stove emptied, and outside repainted with high heat flat black spray paint. The new wood box which sits under the attached range boiler has been tiled to match the hearth and filled with wood. The boiler is full of water and is ready to give us free hot water all winter once the fire is lit. The wood pile on the back deck is full.
Which brings us to the annual plants on the deck. Few have been watered in weeks. Those I really care about are still alive, barely.
The beautiful white marigolds grown from last year’s seed will leave us with thousands more seeds for next year. The plants won’t hold it against me that I stopped watering them early and cut short their season. Anyone who wants these seeds can have them. They are easy to grow.
The deck geraniums have always spent the winters under the house. They aren’t watered or anything. They kind of go dormant. In the spring I bring them out, cut them back, and they return, healthy and happy for yet another year on my deck.
I’m sure you have guessed what I am going to do this year. Tomorrow some of the geraniums will be repotted and brought into the living room to hopefully survive and cheer up my winter. I figure there is nothing to lose and it is well worth a try. This picture was taken on Dec. 22, 2009
in my kitchen.