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Readers Respond: Ways to Beat the Winter Blues?

Responses: 30

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If you live where it gets cold in winter and love outdoor plants, winter can be depressing. If you've overcome that depression, then you've found ways to beat the winter blues that you can share with the rest of us. At the very least, we must find outlets for the energy that, in summer, we'd be expending on the plants in our yards (be it caring for them or just plain admiring them). The possible outlets are many, ranging from activities directly related to plants (e.g., reading landscaping books) to activities that take our minds off plants altogether (e.g., skiing or working out at the gym). Either way, let us know your approach to beating the winter blues. Or if you live in a warm climate, by all means say so and rub it in!

Light Therapy

I spend 20 minutes in front of a Light Box to get my necessary light each day. This helps me beat the winter blues and regulate my sleep cycle, which seems to get off in the winter.
—Guest Cindy Duggin

UV Helps

I go to the tanning bed about 10 minutes once a week. This is very low exposure but can give great replacement therapy for those of us who LOVE the summer.
—Guest Olivia

Cleaning and Sharing

My title means cleaning out my closets and sharing the things I cleaned out, like clothes that are in very good condition, center pieces that have grown "old" in my house (sharing artificial flower arrangements in nice pots). I'm giving away planters or pots, as they will be new to someone else.
—Guest Virginia

Getting Ready for Spring

Winter is time to reboot somewhat. By the time I have managed to get cleaned up after christmas, then the seed catalogs are there and that is great for getting organized for the coming season. I also usually have several other projects I haven't quite gotten finished from the fall (indoor projects, I do lots of needlework). I don't mind hibernating somewhat, recharging my batteries and gearing up for the big push in the spring.
—slewje

Sun Beats Winter Blues

Yeah I got them. Trying to rest an ornery sciatic nerve. Real light exercise and for once a lot of nice sunny days also help.
—BrucesMom

A "Conservative" Approach

I go out to the conservatories. They're free and help boost one's mood. I did this yesterday because I was feeling blue, took some pictures and now feel better.
—Guest pam

Plants and Planning Beat Winter Blues

I LIVE IN UPSTATE N.Y., NEAR ROCHESTER. I BEAT THE WINTER BLUES BY HAVING PLANTS INSIDE THE HOUSE. I BREAK OUT THE CATALOGS AND SEE WHAT PERENNIALS I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT. PLANNING A NEW FLOWER BED AND GETTING EVERYTHING READY FOR SPRING CLEAN-UP.
—Guest JIM BORUCKI

Read on the Internet

On days I don't set outside in a grey Indianapolis day, I sit inside with a cup of coffee and read online newsletters like this one. I also like doing puzzle books and just plain reading.
—Guest Jenny Stanley-Baker

Beating the Winter Blues in Maine

Living in Maine, we just bought our first house last March. We have discovered projects to help: repainting rooms bright happy colors, going through stuff to initiate yard sale, planning veg & flower gardens, and warm weather projects (chicken/barn), learning foreign languages for upcoming trip, rearranging furniture, and "date nights" where we take turns for an evening of fun together.
—Guest Lisa

Amaryllis, All the Way!

Winter sneaks up on me while I prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but when I'm out buying gifts I'm always sure to pick up a variety of forcing bulbs--amaryllis making top of the list. The kits make easy gifts, and they're cheap enough I can buy a few for myself. I stagger the plantings to last me January through March, each bulb taking about 1 month to bloom. They take full sun so I leave my southern window unveiled at all times, letting in all that glorious light. I'm always surprised at how fast they grow, about a half inch per day ultimately reaching 2 feet tall! It also makes me feel good when gift receivers call to tell me how the heavenly scent of hyacinth or the dramatic amaryllis flower brightened their day, too. We just got clobbered by over a foot of snow here in Delaware, and the stunning red flowers of my first amaryllis are just starting to open. Take that, winter blues!
—Guest cgordy

Beating Winter Blues

I love winter because x-country skiing is my favorite thing to do! And at 82 taking violin lessons!!!
—Guest Geo. E,

Year-Round Color Beats Winter Blues

I have nandina, blueberry bushes, Sasanqua and Japanese Camellias, and helleborus. A quince bush is near my bird feeder and I have a screened porch with vinyl inset windows. I planted pink Debutante Japanese Camellias and enjoy seeing them bloom longer in the pots in the porch. I walk the yard to pick up sticks and notice daffodils and Star of Bethlehem popping through.
—Guest Sue

Dispelling the Winter Blues

Living in Alabama I will, each December, put out winter ryegrass. Knowing that in a few months when all the spring bulbs begin to erupt from the dormant ground there will be a green blanket to my colorful garden!
—bjhutter

Bring the Outdoors Inside

My yard always looks terrible this time of year, and I don't have the gumption to get out in the cold, wet weather to improve it. We have a lot of natural light in our home, so I force bulbs and add other indoor plants (that I will plant outside this spring) to give my home some greenery and help clean our indoor air.
—Guest tonya

Overcoming the Winter Blues

I am so glad to have planted my nandina firepowers (12 in all around a birdfeeder). They are such a beautiful color and so pretty in the snow. I love to read, play the piano and take brisk walks in the neighborhood. I've also started to become friends with a couple of squirrels by giving them peanuts..they like to come to my backdoor now and are my new pets. I brought a couple of impatiens inside this year and they are in my living room...not too many blooms, but still looking pretty good. Oh yes, I also paint inside...love working with color.
—Guest ginny

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