Festive indoor gardening tips to banish the winter blues
With the spectacular growing season now just a happy memory, and several months to go until Snowdrops and Crocuses herald a new spring, you could be forgiven for feeling a little down in the dumps. But don’t despair because there is plenty you can do to inject a healthy burst of natural colour into your home whilst you wait for the garden to come out of its dormant phase.
Well maintained tubs on tables and pots on window sills are all you need to create a colourful contrast with the barren greyness of the outdoors. You just have to plant the right things. What’s more, all off-season specimens can make perfect Christmas presents – bringing festive joy into the lives of family and friends.
My particular favourite among this special group of plants is the magnificent Amaryllis, which needs a warm room to flower well. Its long stem and incredible flower is a beacon of hope for all those who might be suffering from the winter blues. It is a flower that is close to my heart because one Boxing Day when I was a toddler I picked my Grandmother’s Amaryllis to give to my Mum. Needless to say Mum was horrified, but Granny got me off the hook.
Next on the list is the beautifully delicate Cyclamen, which comes in a wide variety of colours and is often potted alongside Skimmia to create a very pleasing display. Also, this arrangement is incredibly low maintenance, requiring little water. This year I have planted white Cyclamen against some red ‘Magic Marlot’ Skimmia plants – two varieties that are very complementary. In fact, all of my recent house guests have commented very favourably.
Narcissus ‘Paperwhite’ and Hyacinths are two other varieties that you can get going during the autumn in anticipation of a fine display come Christmas and New Year. Once again, these make excellent Christmas gifts providing you get them planted early enough.
Finally, don’t forget about Mother Nature’s own seasonal offerings. Holly and Mistletoe are always popular to have around the house in order to create that authentic Christmas look. However, make sure you get your Mistletoe from a sustainable source because this particular festive favourite is becoming rare in UK woodland.
by Guest blogger Tom Fletcher