From the Latin word februa, "to cleanse." The Roman Februalia was a month of purification and atonement.
When you put it that way, it makes February sound kind of excellent. Hopefully, we all have a little time right now to attend to purifying and cleansing. So in this month's missive, we turn to planning and dreaming and brightening up.
Minnesota grown cut flowers on your table? Yes. Now that will help the chill on the brain. It no longer matters that your house needs cleaning, the taxes aren't finished, and there's no end to the snow. Here is your hope, your beauty, and your transience in a vase on your table. We have some beautiful bunches, from Minnesota grower Len Busch.
For fun and zero cost, walk outside and snip a few branches from your flowering apple, magnolia, forsythia, or cherry. Bring the stems inside and break the cut ends by hitting them (yes) with a hammer. It helps the woody stems take up water. Arrange the stems in water and wait for the buds to break! Check out the step by step with pictures on our facebook page.
Houseplants are our salvation during this month, the middle age of winter. They are full of life, though they may be looking slightly desperate by now. It's not yet time to fertilize, but it is time to think about ramping up the humidity for some of your green companions. Putting them in the bathroom whilst the shower runs, spritzing them with a spray of water, placing them on a tray with pebbles and water (pebbles help the pot stay out of the water; you don't want to soak), are all kind and easy ways to help them through the days of dry. For more information and inspiration, there are still a few spots left in our Expanding Your Houseplant Horizons free seminar on Monday, February 24th. The complete list of our free winter seminars is here. Free classes take place at both our Longfellow and Northeast locations, but look carefully, there are some that are only offered in one spot!
Now for some planning and dreaming. This month in indoor seed starting, we have ONIONS. Y ou could also start celery and celeriac. Early March, you can go for many varieties of herbs, and eggplant. Remember: heat to germinate (no light necessary!) and light to grow, fluorescent or LED, nice and close. Onions are the most commonly grown plant in the genus Allium, and since we are on a Latin tip, the word derives from the Latin unio, "large pearl". Onions are monocots, and therefor your seedlings will emerge with one cotyledon, also known as a seed-leaf. Onions can be grown in bunches and separated gently at planting time by placing the bunch in your palm and gently rolling the chive-like stems out to separate into individual plants.
Ok, and if you're not into seed starting or houseplants, come check out our cool new offereings to include:
• USA made GORGEOUS nature themed puzzles
• Seedbomb gift kits with neonic-free bee friendly flower seeds
• New Tesoro Mio aromatic locally made candles (lemongrass, delightful)