The day we packed to move from Austin, New Year’s two years ago, we went to Lowe’s for some packing materials, and these cyclamen were there, 99 cents each, meant for bedding plants for winter color in Austin, where it never (well, hardly ever) freezes. They reminded me of miniature geraniums, and the geraniums on the windowsills in the Scandinavian country style I was thinking of for the new old house. Our house does not have generous windowsills, and they were just the right size. They traveled north in the cab of the moving van.
They bloomed cheerily until about June, in the terra-cotta-colored plastic pots they came in. The warm sun come summer didn’t suit them, and they looked decidedly unhappy until about November, when they perked right up and began blooming. Eventually I found the red-glazed miniature planters they live in now, and here they are, in their third winter, brightening up the kitchen against a background of the bare maple and snowy spruces.