Springing into action
It may seem a little early in the year and a little optimistic to be even thinking about warmer weather, but February is an important step closer to summer - or at least to spring. The sun shining through the windows is warm, giving us a little taste of what is to come.
At the risk of jinxing things, this winter has been fairly mild for most of the country and some areas are even seeing the first daffodils blooming. If you can’t wait, you can always bring a little outdoors in − even if you don’t have a garden!
Plants will add colour and interest and, best of all, have been proven to have positive health benefits. Early spring is awash with flowering bulbs: think narcissus, dwarf irises, crocuses, and − of course - the familiar scent of hyacinths. Either buy ready-planted pots from your local garden centre or nursery, or pot them up yourself. This really isn’t difficult and it is very satisfying to see them growing. The best thing is that you don’t need lots of space − a windowsill, shelf or table will be perfect.
Although most house plants need at least a little natural daylight, most don’t like to be in bright sunlight for long periods; therefore, you will be able to find one to liven up even the gloomiest of corners.
Have you considered a mini kitchen garden? Herbs grow very well indoors; in fact, many do better indoors, especially during the winter months, as so many of the herbs we use come from warmer, sunnier climates. Growing them indoors also means you will have a constant supply. You can even grow chilies indoors, which look beautiful to boot. Just keep them away from pets and children!
If you feel that you are not green-fingered enough for plants, a vase of cut flowers will brighten up any room. If even cut flowers are too much for you, then perhaps bring some botany into your life in the form of your furnishings. Big botanical prints and all shades of green are very on trend at the moment and will add vibrancy and freshness to your home.
William Morris- and Liberty-inspired prints abound if you prefer a nostalgic, bohemian look, or you can find more contemporary approaches if this appeals to you more. With everyone from designers to the high street and the supermarket in on the act, you will be able to find some spring greens to suit every budget.
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