By Edith Morgan
We had our first frost and we had an almost imperceptible layer of snow. So we know winter is coming. We brought in our potted plants, got our leaves swept up, drained our rain barrels and our outside faucets, and prepared to welcome winter.
No more bouquets of fresh flowers and decorative grasses – but that does not mean that there are not potential bouquets’ out there, though they wil not be as colorful as their summer cousins.
I love the dried flowers of our hydrangea bushes: some are round, but some are large oval, grape-like clusters of dried blossoms that have gone from pink to purple to brown and have dried and retained their shape. And the tall seed-pods of many flowers, as well as many weeds, dry and keep their shape.
We used to call it “Nature Morte” (dead nature), and many famous paintings have been inspired by these remnants of summer. In their own way they are beautiful, even if the palette is more limited. But there are so many shades of yellow, tan, brown and white that you can put together impressive arrangements of many shapes! The wonderful part is that they will stay just as they are, not needing water or any attention.
As the various holidays come, I add some timely extra decorations, and so these winter bouquets are always up-to-date with the most recent holiday.
Of course, we have our “real” flowers: my amaryllo bulbs are seeing in the basement, ready to come up and bloom. And my daughter’s Christmas cactus has already formed buds and should be covered with blossoms in time for the holidays.
I am an incorrigible optimist and never let a seed go to waste: I save all kinds of seeds, stick them in the nearest flower pot, and hope that something will come up (sometimes it actually does!).
And often, if you do not use fresh potatoes or yams soon enough, they will sprout and maybe grow. I figure if they are willing to try to make it under such difficult conditions, they deserve a break. I plant them to see what will grow.
So, enjoy “indoor nature” all winter long, and adapt to the subtleties of the seasons!