A few days ago I went to the local garden center to find some yellow flowers for a vertical garden.  Other than violets and pansies, there was little choice.  Admittedly, it was in late June and as mid-winter as you can get, but the mild weather had fooled me into thinking there would be flowers about. I should have remembered that this is the season for rest for outdoor plants.

Thank goodness for indoor plants which continue to provide a little cheerful colour.  The kitchen window sill at home is still a riot of colour as it catches the morning light and is perfect for some visual stimulation at the beginning of each day.

In the back garden where the sun rarely reaches, the vertical gardens on the fences are full of ferns and bromeliads that display year-round tropical exuberance without the need for any direct sunlight.

But as for the full sun gardens, only a few flowers remain from the summer and green is the predominant colour. I expect this seasonal absence of brighter colours is why we love spring so much.

Many studies have shown that being exposed to plants can improve human health enormously.  In countries with longer, dark winters (Canada for example) vertical gardens are now being installed indoors as a biophilic solution that helps to offset Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and depression.

So if you are feeling the winter blues and need some brighter natural colours to perk you up, create a little vertical garden indoors. Pop in a few soothing ferns or some Calathea zebrina and a little bright colour, and spring will seem to be here much sooner.

Leigh Nicholson