Gardening: In winter, let indoor plants liven things up

Nancy Szerlag, Special to The Detroit News

The Pantone Color Institute has chosen its color of the year for 2017 and if you work in the green industry, this could be a big deal, because the color is green. Oh not just any old green, such as the color of grass, kale or broccoli. The PCI named their exciting hue “Greenery” – “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when Mother Nature’s fresh greens revive, restore and renew.” I am so there!

Kermit the frog must be busting his buttons. My good friend “The House Plant Guru,” Lisa Steinkopf, is also thrilled about the PSI’s selection of “greenery” for 2017. It’s her favorite color and she has been wearing that “zesty” shade of nail polish for as long as I have known her. The good news for her is every nail polish company has jumped on the bandwagon. Gone is the “Shrek Green” of old. OPI, known for their cutesy names calls one of their “greenery” selections #Imjuicing.

Another great way to bring nature indoors in winter is to add evergreens to your landscape that can be viewed through a window.

But according to the PCI, to use their color of the year starts a lot of trends in many industries, including fashion, automotive and interior decorating. But maybe more important is the use of live “greenery” and other shades of green in the landscape, garden and home.

For many of us who live in cold climates, winter can a difficult time year. Seeing the living green of Mother Nature at this time of the year, no matter what the shade, can be energizing. Scientists have proven exposure to nature and plants, be they trees, shrubs or flowers, speeds the ability of the body to heal. It can lower blood pressure, slow the heart rate and bring about a feeling of well-being.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on window treatments for my large living room window, I’ve chalk-painted a used etagere from the ’20s and filled it with houseplants. So every morning when I open the blinds to give them the light they need to thrive they make me smile. A wonderful way to start the day.

Another great way to bring nature indoors in winter is to add evergreens to your landscape that can be viewed through a window. Landscape design maven Deborah Silver from Detroit Garden Works did a photo walk through of her beautiful yard on her blog Dirt Simple, that shows how a lovely winter scene can also take you through the winter with a smile on your face. Do check it out.

Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Fridays in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to and click on Ask Nancy. You can also read her previous columns at detroitnewscom/homestyle.