Keeping Green Thumbs Busy in the Wintertime
by Amy Lignor
As the East Coast stares at the remnants of the horrific winter storm that just passed through, there are a lot of people sitting inside wishing that the record snowfall would fade so the green world would come back to play. Gardeners, real hobbyists that love to raise plants and watch them grow, know that their own “green thumb” doesn’t have to disappear just because the winter white has filled their vision. In fact, there are more than a few incredible plants that can be grown indoors, so that no matter what Mother Nature creates, your own surroundings can be filled with that healthy green beauty all year round. Here are just a few to get your “thumbs” into.
The Meyer Lemon Tree is one of those that sounds tropical – a plant that can only be found in a world where coconuts and sandy beaches exist. However, there is a way to grow the Lemon Tree indoors so you can, at least, envision that warm getaway. These Lemon Trees grow extremely well in containers, and the green foliage will be supplied to you all year round. One of the great things is that the “view” always changes. In the autumn and winter, white flowers bloom all over the tree and emit the perfect citrus scent to freshen the air. The color is as vibrant as the scent when the blooms turn into lemons that are actually hybrids; a cross between a lemon and a sweet orange, which means the juice provided is great. Sit back, forget the snow, and take a sip. The transport to the tropics is automatic.
Another fantastic plant for the “green thumb” wasting away in the snowy days, is the Camellia. The Camellia provides those vibrant colors that take away the dull white and brown that the snow plows leave behind. Hot pink buds will bloom when it’s a dark, barren landscape, and there are so many varieties that the gardener will be able to produce all sorts of color. Extremely versatile and tough, these shrubs can be trained as trees, raised in containers, and then planted closely together to form a large privacy hedge that remains stunning all year round.
Although many love the Weeping Willow, others think it just sounds sad. But stop right there. The Weeping Willow is an incredible plant/tree that even when the winter comes along and its leaves drop away from its “weeping” branches, the grand arches left behind glisten. The branches are tall and offer curves that are extremely attractive to the eye, and actually become even more beautiful when a layer of ice or snow comes along. The world outside the window will look like a true winter wonderland. Recommended for areas in the North, this is one tough tree that can sustain freezing temps and positively shine.
There are many who love to decorate at the Holidays with hollies. In fact, the iconic red berries are on everything from cards to wrapping paper, from decorations to the scent of the hollies in candles decorating the home. Holly trees are literally part of the American culture, but they also provide that “green thumb” of yours a chance to be surrounded by the thick, fragrant evergreen and vibrant red berries all year long. Having a holly tree in the home is one thing, but creating other holly trees to give to neighbors is also fun. Placing these in backyards across the landscape is also a great source of food for all the small animals and birds that need to be fed in those record-breaking snowfalls. Not to mention, the thick leaves of the holly trees provide warm shelter for the ones needing to come in out of the cold.
Bonsais are great, especially for the apartment-dwellers who do not have that great backyard. Plus, if you are just a beginner “green thumb” the indoor bonsai tree is the best choice for you because not much work is needed to get them looking good and staying that way. And if you love having one, there are tons to choose from: Gardenia, the Dwarf Jade, Golden Gate Ficus, even the Sago Palm all provide that comfort when the world is white outside. The bonsai trees have stunning, thick green foliage, and some even provide the colorful flower. This is the best tree to grow because the bonsai’s thrive indoors and you can spend your time watering, trimming, repotting, and more. In other words, with the bonsai there is always something for that gardener within to stay busy with until the winter wonderland fades away.