GARDENING GODDESS: Winter windowsills


Winter in our region can be mild or monstrous. Even if the weather outside is not so punishing, any stretch of cold, damp days can be wearying. We spend a great deal of our cold season stuck inside, gazing out our windows.

A new gardening book was sent my way last month entitled “Windowsill Art” and it got me thinking about all the crammed window ledges I see in my walks around the Takoma-Silver Spring neighborhoods. How are people using the valuable interior windowscapes?


Photo by Kathy Jentz.

I asked some local gardeners how they decorate their windowsills. Madeline Caliendo, a long-time Takoma, DC, resident said, “My favorite way to decorate my windowsill is with plants, of course. We get lots of sun, so flowers especially like it there.” And Jennifer Whalen of Silver Spring, MD, said, “Right now I’m decorating my windowsill with Paperwhite (narcissus). They are in bloom now — just in time for Thanksgiving week.”

In my own home, I’m blessed with some very deep window ledges (it was one of the key selling points when I was on my home search). For most of the growing season, I take my indoor plants outside, so the windowsills are relatively empty, but when it turns cool they are invariably a battleground between plants and my two cats. I have resigned myself to furry African violets and lop-sided Christmas Cactus, due to the cats using them as head pillows.


Photo by Kathy Jentz.

A few of my window ledges are quite narrow and even the cats shun them. These are the ones I can use to create some artful interior-scapes upon. I’ll take colorful bottles and line them up with coleus cuttings. I also pile up glass Christmas balls and candles as part of my holiday décor. Finally, when winter lingers on, I start to collect interesting natural objects and place them on the ledges as “found art” compositions. These include anything from empty Robin’s eggs to twisted branches to fossils collected at Calvert Cliffs. They all remind me that spring and summer are not that far away!

How do YOU decorate your windowsills?


Photo by Kathy Jentz.


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About the Author

Kathy Jentz
Kathy Jentz is editor of Washington Gardener magazine and is a long-time DC area gardening enthusiast. Washington Gardener is all about gardening where you live. She can be reached at @WDCgardener on Twitter and welcomes your local DMV gardening questions.