By Carleton Varney- Special to the Palm Beach Daily News
Having grown up in the Northeast, I’ve always looked forward to March as the gateway to spring. While the earth up North may still have snow upon it and the air brisk with a chill, in sunny Florida we are enjoying the swimming pool and gardening, which might include planting or pruning a hibiscus plant or two.
Hibiscus plants need to be renewed every so often — and a West Palm Beach landscaping firm named, aptly, The Lawn Ranger, is always ready to bring a bit of new color into my life and my garden.
Take a drive along South Ocean Boulevard right now, and you’ll enjoy seeing the many hedge rows with a mix of hibiscus colors along the way.
I love the many colors you can find among hibiscus varieties — from brilliant orange to golden yellow, from pastel pink to, of course, glorious red. They all work together in a bouquet and a garden bed — and just as well on a fabric or a wallpaper.
Recently, I planted a row of mixed colorful hibiscus along my home’s driveway. And I’m always decorating with those wonderful hibiscus-patterned fabrics. Here is a hibiscus-inspired decorating scheme you might consider for your kitchen and family room.
Cover the walls with a paper featuring a white trellis pattern on a dark jungle green, and paint the ceiling soft, soothing blue. If your family room has a fireplace, paint the mantel bright white as well as all the room’s woodwork. Your floor can be covered in easy-to-wash Mexican tile, and my color suggestion for it would aqua blue.
Find a hibiscus-themed fabric that features golden-yellow, red and pink flowers entwined with green leaves on an aqua-blue or white background. Use this fabric for window curtains, and line them in sky blue. Hang the curtains from white rings on white rods.
The seats of your dining chairs can be covered in a practical but bright hibiscus red.
Your family room most likely will have a seating group. For the upholstery choose practical fabrics but be bold in your color choices. I suggest a deep-green tweed for the sofa and for the club chairs, a tangy hibiscus red. Keep thinking springtime and toss a few hibiscus-colored cushions on your seating pieces.
Oh, March, we welcome your arrival! It has been a long and socially distanced fall and winter, and we’re hoping the spring brings better news on the health front. Meanwhile, some of us will be celebrating the season by planting hibiscus bushes and redecorating our homes with beautiful flowery prints.