Pacific Northwest

December, 2008
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Cyclamen persicum
One of my favorite flowering indoor plants is cyclamen, with its showy, butterfly-shaped flowers held well above the attractive marbled foliage. There are many cultivars available, varying in size and foliage patterns, and ranging in flower color from white to shades of pink, red, and purple. Bicolored flowers can be found, and miniature varieties are also available. For best flower display, provide bright light, moist soil, and cool (55 to 65 degrees F) temperatures.

Clever Gardening Technique

Feng Shui with Houseplants
According to feng shui, everything around us possesses vital energy. This energy circulates through buildings and can affect our daily lives. By surrounding yourself with beautiful, comfortable things, you create a nurturing environment that supports and uplifts you.

If all things possess energy, then things that photosynthesize must possess a great deal of energy, and this is why houseplants are one of the most common feng shui enhancements. Plants connect us with the natural world. A dwelling without plants can create a subtle unease as we feel estranged from the world around us.

From a feng shui perspective, the best plants are those with round or soft leaves. Spiky plants that bite when you touch them are not encouraged, unless you have a particularly strong love for them.

Proper placement of plants helps create a positive first impression. What you see when you enter your abode sets the tone for the rest of your stay. But many of us don't have a front door opening into an opulent foyer. This is an excellent place to make use of the energy a plant can bring. Try something with pizzazz, like a flowering plant or a creative arrangement. It doesn't have to be large, but it should draw your eye.

Western architecture loves angles, but in the East corners are considered offensive. The sharp corners of tables and counters shoot out energy. If you've ever walked into the corner of a coffee table, you'll understand why sharp corners are so threatening. If you're not ready to toss out that antique table, drape a trailing plant over the edge. The plant lends a more natural, organic shape and hides the sharp corner from view.

The corners of rooms are dumping grounds for stagnant energy. Energy should flow freely through a room, but often when it reaches a corner it pools up and decays. A tall plant in an empty corner keeps the energy flowing smoothly. For added emphasis, point a grow light at the plant.

If you ever feel like your computer is staring at you, it probably is. Electrical equipment gives off a great deal of energy and can be quite insistent. If you find the stereo display drawing your attention when you're trying to entertain guests, you might want to screen it from view. Plants are an easy way to do this without investing in new furniture. You can also place a plant in front of the television. The plant is easy to move when you want to watch TV, and screens it from view when you want to chat.

When it comes right down to it, the best way to enhance your home's feng shui is with houseplants you love!

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