When I built this expensive house (while I am not part of the 1% I did save substantial money by living overseas for several years) I knew that I would probably want space for a few indoor plants. I included a corner at the end of my kitchen that had a strip of tile next to the wooden floor for protection. The windows in that corner do not have the glaze on them that filters full sunlight and protects objects from fading. These windows while double glazed are just plain windows. They face the Southwest side so that my plants get plenty of winter sun. In a few weeks when the dangers of very cold nights are gone most of these plants will head outside. The amaryllis will be done blooming and will be tucked away in a place below the deck but near my patio where they will remain unnoticed until I bring them in for a dormant period in mid-October. They are removed from their pots, the soil shaken away and the bulbs put in black garbage bags and kept in the coldest part of my basement until January where I start the process all over again. This year because of my ankle injury I was going to abandon them totally, but hubby generously planted them out and while I would have selected other pots, he did a good job as I have beauteous blooms this time of year. (I still have the other tropical bulbs in the basement waiting for freedom!)
The tiny tree in the middle on the top shelf is my calamondin lime tree. I replaced it last year as the one I had purchased a few years ago was stressed in some way and the roots never grew. The other large tree on the right is my kaffir lime tree. One of the most interesting plants. I use both the limes and the leaves in Asian cooking. It does need full sun through the winter and is somewhat temperamental, but you can see it is going to overtake the space. In the late spring it goes out on the deck. I protect it with cloth for a few days so it can adjust to the more intense light, but it eventually adapts and enjoys the summer months.
The jasmine in the white pot was a sale purchase for about $4.00 and looked really sad until I revived it. I don't think the little white blooms are fragrant enough unless you really get close, so it may be a sale item for the Master Gardeners plants sale this spring.
The ugly grasses are lemon grass which my husband insisted on wintering over. I find that cooking with lemon grass is a real challenge as ones that grow in this climate are tough and not as flavorful as they are in the tropics. These two will go outside into the garden next month and they will take off like gang busters, but I am still lobbying for their demise in the fall.
The lime green pot contains a geranium. They are easy to purchase new in the spring, but I always save at least one for the winter months and pinch it heavily to keep it from being too spindly.
Hidden in the back on the bottom shelf are my succulents. They survive very well if ignored. They will go outside soon. Then this corner might return to an area for a summer buffet table. (You know, like on Downton Abbey...a side board where hot breakfast waits for guests...yes, I am joking here.)