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Home and Garden: Re-imagining houseplants and fresh-cut flowers for today’s home

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By Laural Hardin
General Manager, Petree Garden Center and Florist

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There are so many great trends in floral and indoor gardening these days. Succulents in shades of blue, aqua and pumpkin. Tropical houseplants in deep greens and magenta. Specialty-cut flowers like protea and pincushions, and eucalyptus in a dozen varieties. But how do you choose from this abundance of color and texture? Which plants and fresh cut flowers are right for your unique space? Here are some tips to help you choose.

For houseplants, start with whether or not you can have toxic plants in your home. If you have small children or pets, you’ll want to avoid plants that can be a danger. Some of the most toxic houseplants are often the most readily available. 

Next, consider your skill level. Some of the ferns are lovely, airy and soft, but require an attentive caretaker. Peace Lily needs about the same light, but is more forgiving if you miss a watering, it’s also toxic.

The super popular air plants only need a drink once or twice week, and don’t even need soil! Succulents are a great way to get into the houseplant hobby as they require very little care. In fact, most folks tend to over love them with too much water.

Even if you are a beginner, don’t be intimidated by plants like orchids, they may be easier than you realize. Houseplants come in every color and shape, so consider your architecture, if you have high ceilings a small succulent wouldn’t be a good choice, but a tall growing hibiscus might be just the thing.  

As for using fresh-cut flowers in you home, anything goes. With a rainbow pallet to choose from and more flower varieties than you can imagine there really is no excuse to not have fresh flowers around. As you pick fresh flowers, try choosing them by the stem and arranging them yourself. Choosing flower colors that complement each other or are harmonious have a soothing feel.

Colors that are bright, primary and opposite have an exciting feel. Look for flowers that are in season, this way you can rotate the flowers you bring in for year-round interest. Everyone loves sunflowers, but in December a white queen protea is a harold of winter. Use lots of greens. Green is a fabulous canvas for all cut flowers.

The dusty blues of eucalyptus and the rich forest greens of variegated pittosporum are elegant and will add depth to your arrangements.

You can also try your hand at growing flowers in your garden that make excellent cut flowers for you table. Flowers like stock, celosia, and strawflower are fun to grow, feed the bees and make excellent cut flowers. 

Fresh flowers and houseplants can brighten your home or office year-round and do not need to be expensive or time consuming.

With more options to choose from than ever, now is a great time to add a little plant happiness to your space.