The Winter Blahs: Grow Something

Paperwhites...a touch of spring in January

For all us gardeners and flower-lovers, winter can sometimes feel like just one big wait until growing season starts again.  Even for those who don’t like to get their hands in the dirt, winter can start to feel awfully gray and bleak.  A good remedy? Grow something inside.  Whether it’s a Chia-Pet, kitchen herbs, or forced bulbs, it is possible to enjoy the new life and bright green of young plants in the winter!  And they’re not just pretty, flowers can help us in lots of ways, including:

They boost our mood. A study by Dr. Nancy Etcoff and Harvard Medical School found that cut flowers in the home not only helped boost people’s mood and decrease their worries, their presence was also associated with higher levels of energy and enthusiasm.  How cool is that?

They teach responsibility. Whether it’s our own responsibility that needs improving – or our kids’ -  taking care of a flower can be a great way to get started.  They’re not as tough as a pet, but flowers do require regular watering and plenty of sunshine.  Have a kid who needs to learn to take care of things?  Flowers can be a super way to start.

They teach patience. As anyone who has ever grown anything from a bulb or a seed knows – gardening is not about instant gratification.  It’s about waiting patiently, and maintaining hope that your efforts will pay off.  Just the things we try to keep in mind when saving for retirement, training for a 5K, or encouraging our children to practice the piano.  In my opinion, there are few lessons more needed in this fast-paced, instant-gratification culture than that of patience and hope.