If you're like me, after Christmas the winter blahs hit hard. All the holiday decor is put away and sometimes its difficult to look forward to the next blizzard or deep freeze in the forecast with giddy excitement. A great way to beat the blahs is to bring a little bit of the outdoors in. If you can't be outside (or rather, won't be unless its above 50 degrees), trick your brain into thinking you live in a fresh green paradise. We'll give you 5 easy ways to go natural in the new year and enjoy the mood boosting benefits all year long.
1) Get Your Hands in the Dirt
Just because the ground is frozen outside doesn't mean you can't get a little dirt under your fingernails and start prepping for warmer weather. One of my favorite activities in January and February is pouring over seed catalogs and placing my order for all those glorious flowers and vegetables. Get a jumpstart on your spring planting by starting a few seedlings inside using a seed-starting biodome (this one from Park Seed is a favorite!), peet pots or just some plastic cups. BONUS: Working in the soil is great for boosting your immunity and working with your hands help stave off those pesky snack cravings too.
Be sure to check out a few of my favorite seed companies:
Floret Flowers- beautiful, hard-to-find varieties and colors. Make sure to read through their seed starter guide and other resources on growing specific varieties. There is also a FREE Winter Mini-Course on seed starting available. Register here.
Johnny's Seeds - huge collection of vegetables, herbs, and flowers as well as tools and supplies
Park Seed - I've been getting the Park seed catalog for over a decade and I enjoy circling and scribbling all over it. Since I like to shop with my eyes, the print catalog makes it easy to compare varieties. Their website also lets you filter your seed selection by growing zone and their packaging is well labeled so I know which seeds I can start early.
2) Branch Out
A couple of interesting branches in a tall vase has the ability to surprise and delight you every time you enter the room. Unlike pricier flower arrangements, branches are inexpensive, draw your eye up creating height in the room, and last for many weeks. Grab a bunch of pussy willows, curly willow, or any branches that catch your eye in your backyard. Something so simple makes a dining table or front entrance table seem more special and takes zero effort.
3) Welcome Home Some New Plant Babies
Winter is a a great time to adopt some new little plant babies into your family. House plants have been widely studied and the results are in! They're actually great for your home and well-being. They improve air quality and boost your mood. Not ready for a pet? Try a plant. If you're worried about maintenance, try easy-to-care-for varieties like succulents and cacti or be sure to download a plant care app (I like Planta) and your phone will send you automatic reminders to water and fertilize your new ficus.
Create special little "moments" around your house by tucking a few 1-2" plants in your bookcase, on top of your toilet tank, next to your bedside or on your dresser. The green will brighten up even a mundane space and make you stop and appreciate the little pop of nature.
4) Wreaths Aren't Just for Christmas
I strongly believe doors needs love all year round and I like creating pieces that capture the essence of the current season. In the winter, we shift our designs towards those that feature dried foliage such as eucalyptus and olive as well as favorites such as pussy willow, moss, and dried flowers to create a fresh, natural look that reminds you spring is around the corner. This pussy willow and curly willow wreath on a bed of Spanish moss is a customer favorite. See all our latest creations in our Etsy shop.
5) Create a terrarium for the whole family
My parents had a terrarium in a huge green glass bottle that lasted over 30 years! This 1970s staple is making a huge comeback and the reason is terrariums are fun! Kids and parents will enjoy picking the tiny plants, layering moss, rocks and soil, and watching their unique creation grow. For those who want the serenity of a terrarium without the work, most garden centers and many florists are now keeping them in stock. Choose an open container or a closed one (great for those with prying toddlers around). To learn more about building your own terrarium visit Laura LeBoutillier's YouTube channel Garden Answer for tons of how-tos.
For more ideas on beating the winter blues be sure to read our other blog posts: