Indoor Gardening: A Happy Journey Through Winter.

The fashion for growing plants indoors is very understandably on the increase.  The lead had been given to us by the Scandinavia countries, where the climate must be more difficult to manage than our own, and where the inhabitants go to the most elaborate lengths to ensure a supply of living vegetation and greenery in their rooms throughout their long winter.  It is a pleasant fashion, and I hope it never proves to be ephemeral.

-Vita Sackville-West
November 14th, 1954

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Rather on the contrary to Vita’s fear, I think indoor gardening is on the rise.   I myself, don’t think I could live without the pleasure of gazing at my blooming houseplants all winter long.  I feel so blessed to have a collection that provides me with something at all times.  I no longer dread the coming of winter because I know my work indoors will begin.  Just because the roses are gone and the dahlias are dug up doesn’t mean I won’t have flowers.  In fact, I will have plenty.

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Forget fresh flowers in each room- what about live flowers instead?  With all the positive research which proves plants provide clean air for our stagnant wintery houses why wouldn’t one want a plant to bring some new oxygen and color?

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My love for flowers began with the cactus- if you can believe it.  They were inexpensive and there little pots did not impose on the limited space in our home.  However, as I was trying to roll myself out of a wintery funk, gazing upon one little cactus wasn’t good enough.  My broken spirit needed something more- something bigger than me.  Soon that little pleasure took the form of a therapeutic obsession which branched out into the interest of other plants and soon tramped off to expand itself outdoors.  I followed it willingly and found myself feeling the greatest pleasure.  I attached myself to a positive energy that spun all the heaviness away.


In the dead of winter, we can all get a little run down.  So when this happens, I venture off to my favorite place: Telly’s Greenhouse in Troy, MI.  Their collection of house plants is out of this world and the displays are nothing short of inspirational.  Stepping out of the cold and into their greenhouse (pictured above) one is immediately struck by the humidity and the most wonderful smell of wet dirt.  Find a nice greenhouse near you and make it your safe haven.

People tell me they kill cacti, succulents and orchids too.  I myself cringe at the times I threw phalaenopsis orchids away when their blooms died.  Not anymore.  I have one that has been blooming consistently (taking short breaks here and there), throwing up blooms since two years ago.  Don’t let anyone fool you, their care is not challenging.

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My latest achievement however, is getting my dendrobium to bloom this year.  I’ve been waiting two years and my hard work has finally paid off.  Since dendrobium’s and cacti need a drought period in order to bloom, they are such rewarding plants when they finally shoot up some color for you.  Indeed, they teach patience and perseverance.

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Sounds complicated and annoying to have to wait so long, but that’s the fun of it.  If you need a distraction or feel a bit heavy, get out into the garden and start with something simple.  I promise you, gardening can cure all mental ailments if you’re willing to be cured. Whether indoor or outdoor there is an endless amount of knowledge to learn and practice.  Be well this winter; allow the flowers to lift your spirit.

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13 thoughts on “Indoor Gardening: A Happy Journey Through Winter.

  1. You are so right: gardening can be very therapeutic – I find it so – but the bottom line is as you say, it works “if you’re willing to be cured.” I feel blessed being able to see the difference I can make in our garden – however small it is.

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  2. I’m so glad gardening is therapeutic for you. That’s probably why I’m following your blog. To me, gardening is war, and it is winning. I take that back. That’s where I was two years ago. I now have gardening shoes stashed by the back door, and I have pulled out enough rampant plants to see the bones of the garden layout. There is hope for me, isn’t there? I hope to get the upper hand before I fade and die.

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    1. Thank you Anne for following and reading my blog! Sounds like you don’t love what’s in your garden. Perhaps you didn’t plant it yourself? For your case, I would follow Vitas advice when she says, un-remorsefully rip out what isn’t bringing you joy. Start fresh next year and pick out something you really LOVE!! Get excited about it by planning now. 🙂

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  3. I have a Christmas cactus that never fails to bloom at Thanksgiving! I too grow orchids and my Cattleya are sure to bloom in February. They are extra special since no matter what the calendar says February always seems to be the longest and dreariest month of the year. Based on your reminder, perhaps I will be adding to my winter garden.

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    1. Yes do! I can’t tell you how many times this season I have sighed a big happy sigh because I still have plenty of flowers blooming around me. I’m determined never to suffer through a bleak winter again, and I have finally found the solution to avoid that fate. Thank you for reading!

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  4. I have a white orchid that was literally on its way to the bin after not flowering for three years when I noticed a shoot. I put it in a different room and it has been full of blooms for a few months now. This week however, two of them have died and I don’t know what to do. Do I keep watering it – I just give it a small drop every week to ten days – is it the central heating that’s affecting it or the drop in temp overnight now. I don’t want to lose it now I’ve revived it.

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    1. I water mine once a week-really soak it with distilled water, but you can use tap water too. Flowers need water when they are blooming so I would give it a big drink once a week-let it drain and put it back in an east or west window if it’s a phaleanopsis like the white one in my post. Great job getting it to bloom again!

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      1. I’d bet money it’s a phal they are the most popular orchid, they sell them everywhere now. Don’t be afraid the mix their in should give the roots enough air to dry out. Just run it under water for five seconds and you’ll be good. Also, if you ever see a leaf turn yellow but all others seem healthy, the plant is just conserving its energy to start blooming again.

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