Top 5 Cures for Winter Blahs

By Kim Toscano

The short days and cold temperatures are starting to drag, and you can’t wait to get back in the garden. But you don’t have to wait for spring. Here are several ways to keep the gardening inspiration alive on cold winter days.

Snip & Clip

Brighten your home with fresh flowers harvested from the sleeping winter garden. Grab a set of hand pruners and head outside for a walk in the great outdoors. Ahhh, breathe that fresh air. Now look for your favorite spring-flowering shrubs and trees such as forsythia or flowering quince. Snip a few branches to bring indoors and place them in a jar of fresh water.  In a few days the blooms will start to open. While you are strolling the garden you can also collect a winter bouquet of berry-laden Scarlet's Peak™ Holly branches, Flirt™ Nandina berries or stems of Purple Diamond® Semi-Dwarf Loropetalum.

Grow Something Good to Eat

Try gardening on your kitchen counter with a tray of microgreens. Packed with nutrition, microgreens have become a hot commodity in gourmet restaurants and health food stores. They are easy to grow and take up little space, a perfect winter gardening project. Once you taste the fresh greens you’ll want to expand your indoor garden. Add a container of sprouts or plant a windowsill herb garden and include Chef’s Choice® Culinary Rosemary. You can even start growing seedlings to transplant into your spring vegetable garden.

Feed the Birds

Watching birds flit between feeders is sure to brighten your spirits. Place feeders near windows where you can enjoy the activity from the comfort of your favorite chair. Incorporate a variety of birdseed mixes to see how many different species come to feed. You might buy a bird identification book to learn the names of any new-to-you visitors that appear.

Build a Terrarium

Terrariums are simple gardens enclosed in glass or plastic. They offer unique opportunities to grow plants that might otherwise be challenging to grow indoors due to the dry winter air. The growing environment in a terrarium can be adapted to specific plant material, from humid and tropical to desert-like conditions. You can create unique themes in the terrarium by varying container style, plant selection and supporting materials. Try a carnivorous garden featuring Venus’ fly trap and pitcher plant, or perhaps an elegant miniature Asian garden is more your style. The possibilities are endless. 

Get Creative

My favorite winter gardening activity is designing. I dig into plant catalogues, break out my notes from the previous season, sit down with my sketchpad and start dreaming. I always work in a visit to my local garden center where I can find inspiration while drinking in the invigorating aromas of plant life. If designing isn’t your forte, try imagining and creating a new decoration or piece of art for the garden.

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