Winter? What winter?

Above is what I see from my living room when I’m comfortably stretched out on my recliner. I only have to look up to admire the “greenhouse” (officially a solarium) filled to the brim with beautiful houseplants.

Right now, I can see mandevillas, pelargoniums, crowns of thorns, begonias, Thanksgiving cactus and a bird of paradise in bloom, and others will follow throughout the winter. And despite the beauty of the flowers that dot the mass of green, I think I still prefer the tropical effect of the foliage. Why bother traveling to Cancún in the winter when Cancún comes to you!

During the summer, all that beautiful vegetation spends the summer outside, so from my armchair I can see through the glass walls of the greenhouse into beautiful flower beds. Temperate flowers in the summer, tropical foliage all winter, all from a comfortable armchair … isn’t life wonderful!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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