Contributed by Lynn Hutchinski
I don’t know about you, but about this time of year I start to get a little stir-crazy. The holidays are over – the fun and energy and bright colors are gone – and it’s cold and snowy out there and no way will I be heading to my garden to play any time soon.
One of the things I turn to every winter season to keep me sane is my houseplants. We have just missed “Houseplant Appreciation Day” which falls on January 10th. Some people give their houseplants names – I haven’t gone that far yet – and some people talk to their plants, but most of us appreciate them for the many benefits they provide to us in this dreary New England winter season:
- Through pores on the surface of their leaves, houseplants absorb many of those nasty volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pollute our indoor air, such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene (found in some plastics, detergents, fabrics and building materials).
- Plants help to maintain indoor humidity levels, which can alleviate the problem of breathing dry air causing respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, and over all dehydration.
- Negative ions, such as those produced by air purifiers, are created when plants breathe out. These negative ions attach themselves to dust particles, mold spores, bacteria and more and they fall to the floor, where they can be vacuumed up.
- And, of course, plants drink in carbon dioxide and pour out oxygen to refresh us from our winter doldrums.
There are many easy-to-grow houseplants that will improve your indoor air quality, but some of the best according to a 1989 NASA Clean Air Study are Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa), Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina), Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum), Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum), Dracaena reflexa, Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) and even the simple Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum).
Finally, if houseplants don’t provide enough greenery to see you through to spring, then try a field trip to one of the outstanding greenhouses in the Greater Boston area. Here are two I recommend – one at Wellesley College:
And another in Waltham at the Lyman Estate:
Submitted by Tim Wholey
It seems like just last week we were discussing changing out our summer containers, but that was over two months ago now! People are already starting to ask when we will be making the switch over to our winter arrangements. I am still trying to experience the fall we are having. It is hard to picture a scene of drifting snow and barren trees while we still have such a colorful display all around us. Perhaps this is where the challenge lies between the two seasons: in one we are competing with the exuberance of nature’s own palette and in the other we are adding color to where there is almost none.
Yes, we were all pretty fed up with the perpetual mountains of snow of last winter, but I have to admit there is nothing prettier at that time of year than a backdrop of fresh fallen snow against a colorful display of evergreen cuttings of Pine, Spruce, Blue Atlas Cedar, Arborvitae and red-berried Holly. Then of course there is that smell you get from freshly cut evergreens! It’s a lovely way to be greeted upon arriving home on a frigid evening, just before going inside to sit by the fireplace with a hot cup of tea. Keep color and texture in your life – let us spruce up your winter containers at home.
Please email us and we will send you our container questionnaire that helps us customize your arrangement.
My annuals are fading and my hosta is mushy. The cold predicted for the end of this week will certainly kill anything freezeable. Bye bye to summer and fall.
But instead of being sad, I am excited. In a couple weeks I get to do one of my favorite things: make Winter and Holiday containers. Why do I love decorating containers? Perhaps because it is so immediate and tangible. Instead of laboring over measurements, making sure I have plants that bloom in spring, summer and fall and look good in winter or is the patio big enough, I get to bring a truck of greens, twigs, pinecones, ribbons, berries and good ‘ol stuff and whip up some magic right then and there. Filling a container with plant remnants without any worries about sun, shade, water, soil, bunnies or ongoing care is a relief. Just make it beautiful, for now. Beautiful with textures and greens for a non-Christmas look – or doing Christmas with ribbons or as I did last year, adding cast off skis for a winter smile.
Act now and get on our calendar for beautiful outdoor winter and holiday decorations. We do everything to order and with a conversation with you. Let us put some cheer in your winter season. Check out these photos.
- We will add all the decoration materials to your existing pots by the front door or bring pots to festoon.
- We will start on December 1st, the Monday after Thanksgiving.
- A pair of average outdoor pots (18”) on your front porch = $245 for one pot or $425 for 2 pots. Let’s discuss window boxes or rope garland.
- We can hang lights up to 15’ high.
- I am making a few decorated Wreaths – price point about 200. Let me know if you want one. They are very unique.
NEXT STEP: Email me and I will send you an order form – or talk to you on the phone.
DEADLINE: Monday November 24th – please let me know by then.