Add some greenery and fresh colour by making a little indoor garden to beat the winter blues. If you take a look around at this time of year, things can look pretty bleak – there are no leaves on the trees, the ground is far from green and your home is probably very dry from the heat being on all the time. Before we begin the most popular seasonal transition from Winter to Spring, here are 8 ways you can liven up your home with the fresh look of flowers and plants.
1. Force flowers to bloom before spring Cut a few branches from a dormant tree, such as a blossom tree, four to six weeks before it would normally bloom and bring them indoors to entice a few buds to open. Choose branches with immature buds and place them in a container half filled with water and floral preservative.
2. Choose double-duty plants An attractive plant stand full of potted gems can also serve as air purifiers. Houseplants can remove chemical pollutants in your home and purify the air. Clean-air plants includes heartleaf and elephant ear philodendrons, English ivy, spider plant, weeping fig, bamboo or reed palm, and snake plant.
3. Skip the spice rack Choose a windowsill that gets more than six hours of sun a day and plant some of your favourite herbs, such as basil, chives and thyme. You'll add some leafy colour to your room and be able to reap the benefits by incorporating them into your favourite dishes while cooking.
4. Grow a garden under glass Add interest to a room with a terrarium. Any glass container with a lid will do. Create a drainage layer of charcoal and potting soil, add a layer of pebbles and choose small or slow-growing plants that will thrive in a moist environment in a variety of textures and heights. Try dwarf ferns, such as maidenhair, flame violets, fittonia and pilea. Finish the look with natural elements, such as mosses, lichens and rocks, close the lid and there you have it: your own mini indoor garden.
5. Create an optical illusion Put your floral arranging skills to work and create a display from silk flowers. If you're worried about the tacky fabric blooms from the 80s, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the selection you can find in craft stores that includes lifelike-looking stems and brilliant artificial flowers. Place them on a buffet out of arm’s reach and no one will be the wiser.
6. Plant a tree If you're up for the challenge, consider growing a bonsai tree. According to Wikipedia, bonsai is "the art of aesthetic miniaturization of trees." Grown from seeds or cuttings, these mini specimens can be manipulated into certain shapes with patience, technique and a few specific tools. If you need something more low-maintenance and you have the space, choose a large, decorative pot and add a palm, African pine or coffee plant to a room.
7. Start seedlings Once spring is almost within reach, get a head start on your spring garden by growing plants from seed. Purchase a propagating kit from a garden store, follow the package directions for growing conditions and sow accordingly. Light sources can come from bright windows or grow lights and cool fluorescent tubes. Those first shoots of green will add colour and optimism to a room.
8. Choose a bouquet of cheerful, fresh-cut flowers Spring inspiration can be found at your local florist where fresh-cut blooms hint at the promise of things to come. Grab a wild, multi-coloured bouquet to place in a neutral vase.