Let the understudies step forward


Cyclamen, African violets, and Plectrantus: non-stop bloomers since November

Can we have some love for these regularly-scorned indoor players? They’ve been blooming their heads off for months now—and when the Buffalo temps are hitting highs of 5º, I appreciate it. Sure, they always look the same, but they’re always pretty, too.

For more exotic blooms, check here. I do have some cool bulb action on the GWI front.


And, of course (can’t resist), let a thousand teaflowers bloom!

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The humble graph
Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at yahoo.com


  1. Aren’t teaflowers cool? My sis brought me back some from Taiwan last year. Guaranteed to attract attention.

    Not as cold in Alabama as in Buffalo but winter honeysuckle and earliest daffodils are blooming at my house.

  2. For all my urban outdoor gardening prowess, I cannot keep a houseplant alive. My partner (affectionately known as “Blog Widow”), however, has nurtured a lowly African violet on our tiny kitchen windowsill for a few years now. It was a Martin Luther King Day present from one of his parishioners. (*African* Violet, get it?!)

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