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Gardening 101: Green In Winter, Green All Year

(CBSDFW.COM) - To toil in the soil in an attempt to grow something to eat is to follow the weather. But if you'd like to forgo dealing with the fickle nature of mother nature, grow some plants indoors.

There are some plants that actually thrive in the consistent climate your house provides. I met with Daniel Cunningham a.k.a. the Texas Plant Guy at Weston Gardens in Fort Worth to let him offer all of us some recommendations.

Under his advice I've started to scout some places in my house to try some of his suggestions. I already have one plant, a ficus tree in the front room. They don't require direct sun but need a bright room.

Mine is about two years old now; I've moved it a couple of times (which they hate) but it seems to do be doing well.

I believe they next thing I'm going to try is the Devil's Ivy he suggests. I have a corner where I plan to hang a high planter and let it spill down to fill the space.

Next week you'll see a story on growing orchids. I decided to try a couple of them on my kitchen table next to a south window. I'll take them outdoors in the summer but when they flower it'll be in the winter months indoors.

I'd love to try to grow an Aloe plant but not sure where I'd put it. That's the thing about indoor plants, they have to have just the right place to thrive. Most like a little sun and not many of my windows get direct sunlight.

I continue to consider closing out a back porch and turning it into a small greenhouse augmented with artificial lightning (it would only get a couple of hours of afternoon sun at day). Mainly I'm doing this to have a place to grow my vegetable transplants (I start a crop in the late winter and another in early fall).

If I move ahead with that project I'll likely add a couple of citrus trees in big planters on wheels that I'll winter in that space. I'd also likely add some of the indoor plants he suggests to fill out the space.

The whole point here is to try to keep a green thumb all year around. Growing things is a powerful calm in a fast-paced world.

In the coming weeks I'm turning my attention to fruit trees. This is the time of year when you start planting them; toward the end of winter. I'm going to show you some unusual options for your backyard, some that I'm trying myself.

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