Flower Power: Choosing Blooms for Rooms & Yard
As winter fades, everyone eagerly anticipates the arrival of all things light, bright and colorful. And what better way to celebrate the fact that spring has sprung than by invigorating your living space – both indoors and out – with some brilliant blooms?
It may seem as simple as picking your favorite florals. However, there is much to consider before you hit your neighborhood nursery or garden center. You should factor in your local climate, available home and yard space and how much plant upkeep you can realistically manage in your lifestyle.
Here are a few things to contemplate when preparing to spring forward into new garden growth:
Plants are picky when it comes to their light requirements. So, before you buy any new ones, check to see how many hours of direct sun each planting area in your garden receives and choose flowers that are appropriate for each particular area. General guidelines are: Full sun (6+ hours of direct sunlight per day), partial shade (3-6 hours) or shade (less than 3 hours per day).
Easy Does It
Love flowers but don’t have a green thumb? Before you go running for the fake flora, head to your local plant market to talk with a pro about the plethora of easy-care options available. Or if you’re short on time, a quick internet search will turn up dozens of colorful, low-maintenance options for your home or yard, such as African violets, begonias and Christmas cactus.
Nature vs. Nurture
TLC goes a long way with living things. But no matter how much of it you lavish on your beloved blooms, they aren’t going to thrive in an environment that isn’t in harmony with what they were created to live in. Whether you reside in the dry desert or a more humid part of the hemisphere, a little research will save you time and money in the long run. The National Wildlife Federation has a simple to use resource (www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder) to help you choose the plants that will work best in your area.
Concerns about plant toxicity are one of the main reasons that many pet parents opt for a greenery-free home. However, there are a wide variety of plants (such as spider plants and various types of palms and ferns) that are not only safe for dogs and cats, but low-maintenance and great for purifying your air, as well. The ASPCA publishes a comprehensive list of both toxic and non-toxic plants (as well as 24/7 emergency poison hotline info) on their website aspca.org.
No matter the size of your living quarters, you can still enjoy the fresh beauty of foliage. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use spaces you wouldn’t traditionally consider for a garden, such as windowsills or fire escapes. And bathrooms are actually a wonderful habitat for some types of plants such as orchids and peace lilies. Bonus: you won’t need to remember to water them as often since they will soak up the humidity while you shower or bathe.
A little time spent planning for planting will reward you with a season full of splendor!