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Fabulous Flowers

Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tip for March, 2004

This week, two local colleges have bulb shows at their greenhouses--which is always the first real sign of spring around these parts. A few hundred miles south of us, crocuses have been out for weeks. We'll have ours soon, and then the daffodils, and then the explosion of color in late spring that blesses us in New England. Personally, I find the spring colors even more satisfying than their more dramatic and better-known counterparts in the fall--maybe because I've been looking at snow-covered fields for most of the last few months.

So... some ideas for getting your flower fix:
* Call up colleges and ask if they have greenhouses or arboretums--most of these are open to the public without charge. Also call your local parks departments and tourist information centers to locate other public greenhouses.
* Visit commercial greenhouses and buy a few plants for your own garden.
* Walk in the woods and watch the trees begin to bud.
* Take a mansion tour. Most mansions have beautiful plantings, and sometimes you can even see them without paying to enter the house.
* Visit your nearest wholesale flower market.
* Visit an urban neighborhood with a high concentration of flower shops.
* Start a windowsill flower-growing project with your kids, and chart the progress of each plant.

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