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Archive for January, 2008

Chase the blues away with some reds (or pinks, or yellows)

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

DaffodilsWinter seems wintry-er these days, with more snap to the cold than ever. In my neck of the woods, more often plagued by smog than snow, the days have been short, gray and nasty. As one long-spoiled by a mild, sunny clime, I’m having a heck of a time believing spring will ever come. To keep the faith, I’ve begun tricking myself – with a little pot here and a little pot there. And though I’m playing mind tricks with myself, it’s not the kind of pot you might think. The pots are full of daffodils.

Nothing cuts through winter’s drear better than a bright bundle of posies. Better still if they’re blooming in the pot. A stand of bright red cyclamen or a flourish of fragrant paper whites can fool you in to thinking spring is days away. Go for a big punch of color – pots of kalanchoe in hot pink or yellow, pulsing orange pincushion plants, or daffodils in their slicker-yellow shade are a great surrogate for sun.

If frilly little blossoms aren’t your cup of sunshine, a cactus or two might do. The giddy Christmas cactus, so named because it bursts into bloom at the holidays, is a virtual fireworks display of lurid fuchsia flora. Other long-lasting delights can be found in the orchid family. Easy-care “moth” orchids (phaleonopsis) in purple-veined chartreuse or intense magenta offer a welcome shot of visual heat in a pale room, or swirl nicely into a décor done in saturated colors. Don’t turn up the furnace when the gray days grate – crank up the color!