I’m the first to admit that I have more plants than sense. I can’t seem to let go of plants at the end of the Denver growing season. I invite an awful lot of annuals indoors. I return houseplants to the house after their summer vacations on my front porch or in my secret garden. I also force some bulbs and tend a lot of herbs in containers.
These plants help me transition from the growing season to the dead of winter. And come Spring, I have a palette of plants to return to the outdoor gardens.
Here’s what blooms in December in my indoor garden:
1) Forced paperwhite narcissus with strongly scented, serene white blooms
2) Forced grape hyacinth with purple clusters of fairy flowers
3) Hibiscus with bursts watermelon pink and tangelo orange
4) Dragonleaf begonias with constantly flowering pink and red flowers
5) Zonal geraniums with crisp white pompoms
6) Scented geraniums with delicate pale pink flowers
7) Lemon and lime trees with fragrant white blossoms
8) Oxalis with whispy white and pale-lavender flowers
9) Cyclamen with blooms resembling white butterflies
10) A big pot of rosemary with tiny, blue, edible flowers
Before long, I’ll bring in a pot of chives, too, and nurse them until they sprout and show their round mauve blossoms.
My house benefits from lots of windows and a southern exposure. If I feed my plants at all, it’s either compost I’ve added to containers as top-dressing during summer, or a watering with fish emulsion. Added as a natural fertilizer, fish emulsion does add a fishy stink to the house for a day or so. But as I’ve said before, I simply pretend I’m back at that seafood market in Portugal–a pleasant memory that makes the unpleasant smell tolerable for the short while the stench lingers.
Above all, I pay attention to these flowering houseplants. I consider them friends supplying my home with buds, flowers, culinary herbs, aromatherapy, and cleaner indoor air. These plants earn their keep and keep me from suffering total garden withdrawal during winter’s short and cold days.
Colleen Smith’s debut novel Glass Halo, set in Denver, was a finalist for the Santa Fe Literary Prize and was praised in the latest issue of The Bloomsbury Review. The novel is available online and through your favorite bookstore.
To learn more, visit FridayJonesPublishing.com and GlassHaloNovel.com, become a friend on Facebook, or follow FridayPublisher on Twitter.