Autumn Musings

Bonnie Nowicki, Master Gardener

As I compose this article, the month of October is coming to a close, the Green Valley heat gauge still registers 90 degrees plus, our country is mostly housebound, and a vital election is looming. What more can happen this year? The holiday season! I am feeling overwhelmed.

Presently, I am in soggy Washington state where I reside when not in Quail Creek. I recently discovered a new word, ygge. It’s a Danish/Norwegian word meaning a mood of coziness and sounds like “who ga.” Lately, I do find myself searching for ygge, solace, and peace. I am giving more attention to my faithful houseplants, but I need something else. I long to decompress somehow. Being out in nature may combat the weariness and restore that coziness. If you are feeling the same, perhaps taking a walk could help. You could also buy a new houseplant to add a sense of calm and comfort to your surroundings. Houseplants also purify the indoor air by removing pollutants while adding more oxygen and humidity.

May I suggest several nearly indestructible houseplant specimens? The snake plant (sansevieria) is durable and easy to grow. Bright, indirect light is best, and they prefer to be root-bound. A pothos or dieffenbachia is another classic houseplant. Moses in the cradle or boat lily (tradescantia spathacea) is popular and very attractive year-round. It has dark green, lance-shaped leaves with purplish-red undersides. Deep water only when the soil dries out. This is a drought-tolerant houseplant. The ever-popular African violet certainly brings a comforting smile as you touch the velvet leaves and admire the delicate flowers. Whatever you choose as your ygge, a sense of well-being and a touch of warmth is important during these stressful times.