I was planning on posting about flower arrangements, fresh and dried, when my angel wing begonia and my hellebore burst into bloom. That got me thinking about all the ways I enjoy flowers in winter: bouquets, house plants, and hellebore.
I tend to think of winter as the season for dried bouquets. I plan my winter bouquets in fall. I’ve been learning by trial and error which flowers will still be beautiful through the winter and even into the next year if you hang them upside down. It’s too late for that now, but it’s not too late to go out and scavenge for dried seed pods.
The only other option here in the North is to buy flowers. I don’t often indulge in purchasing fresh flowers, but I do enjoy them on occasion. I can get them at a reasonable price at the grocery store.
I’ve never had any classes on flower arranging. I developed an eye for it over time. Until recently I never cared much for my arrangements, but the nice thing about flowers is they are always going to be pretty. They are a good way to develop your artistic sense.
Here are some good things to keep in mind when arranging:
Choose a vase that complements the flowers. A tall bouquet looks good in a tall vase. A full bouquet looks good in a rounded vase.
Be conservative about how much stem you cut off. You can always take more off, but you can’t put any back on.
Go for balance in the overall shape. Having a tall flower or seed pod add a dramatic effect, but the shape of the rest of the bouquet should parallel or complement the tall form. A tall flower sticking out of an otherwise round bouquet will look out of place.
I used to kill houseplants, but I recently did a little stint of living in town. The apartment was bright and sunny, and several people gave me plants. There were gorgeous hibiscus. Unfortunately, these got a whitefly infestation that I never managed to control, and they died. But the orchid and angel wing begonia flourished.
There are plenty of beautiful houseplants available. Why not give them a try? Just because you didn’t do well with them in the past doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Or maybe you didn’t have the right variety for your conditions. Some plants are easier to careful than others. I find begonias easy. Orchids need indirect light and need to have air get to their roots. They are sometimes said to be difficult to care for, but I didn’t find them difficult. You just have to be careful not to over water them.
The big things to remember with houseplants are: don’t tell yourself you will kill it, pick a plant you like and that will do well in your lighting conditions, and water at the recommended frequency.
As far as I know, these are the only plants you will find blooming in January and February in my part of the world. You can plant them in the shade. They make a beautiful evergreen ground cover. They require very little care, and they bloom in winter or very early spring. What more can you ask for?
I encourage you to try houseplants or flower arranging even if you think you can’t. But don’t stress yourself out over it. That would defeat the purpose. Enjoy the winter flowers even if you do nothing more than look at ones in the store.