Shopping Siren's mother has taken to cursing Punxsutawney Phil.
"Lying groundhog," she scoffed during every foot-deep snowstorm post-Feb. 2. "Early spring? Liar!"
She has a point.
Sure, spring is officially here, but it's darned hard to see under all that snow. And mud. And salt and sand. The world is decidedly white and brown.
I think there was once something called grass. And . . . flowers? It's getting hard to remember. But there was color in the world once, I think. Green. Though at this rate we're going to have to wait until June to see it again.
That's only, what, three months away?
I don't know about you, but I can't wait until summer for spring. I need something leafy, alive and blossoming. I crave greenery.
And if we can't get that outdoors, we'll have to get it indoors. I'm thinking houseplants.
I thought that might get your attention.
* Pothos, Val's Flower Boutique, $35
This plant features flat, wide, heart-shaped leaves. Comes in a hanging pot, for the perfect touch of green you won't trip over.
* Christmas cactus, Val's Flower Boutique, $28
Sharp, green leaves budded with delicate fuchsia-colored flowers — a study in contrasts. It's a pretty hardy plant, which is a must for those of us without green thumbs. And it's just plain pretty, which is a must for those of us who can't soak up the green of Florida this winter.
* Cyclamen, Ann's Flower Shop, $15.95
Another pretty plant with fuchsia-colored flowers. According to the Web, this little plant likes high humidity, low-nitrogen fertilizer and bright, indirect light. Also, long walks on the beach. So be prepared.
* Dish garden, Ann's Flower Shop, $47.95
Dinner-plate-sized pot filled with various plants and a layer of smooth rocks to give the whole thing a Zen garden feel. Hey, meditating may just get us through this winter-spring. Meditating and watching "Hawaii Five-O" on a continuous loop. Ahh, palm trees.
* Alocasia, Ann's Flower Shop, $24.99
Short plant with pale veins set against wide, dark leaves that look like elephant ears. A plant that will be noticed! (Unlike those wallflowers over there.)
* Variegated English ivy, Dube's Flower & Gift, $6.50
Cute little plant with cute little leaves . . . and it can climb. Kind of like a cat. Only slower.
* Peace Lily, Dube's Flower & Gift, $42.50 (large) and $32.50 (small)
Thick floor plant with broad leaves and one or two white flowers sprouting from the center. In large (about 3 feet tall, if my on-the-fly measurement is right) and small (about a foot-and-a-half tall). Buy four or five and create your own greenhouse/jungle/rain forest oasis. Huzzah!
Best find: Faux croton, Val's Flower Boutique, $85
Tall (at least 4 feet high) and trimmed into topiary-like perfection. Also, it's fake, which means no watering, no fertilizing and no need to fret over the angle of the sun as it streams — or doesn't stream — through your window. Yet, it's still green! The best of both worlds.
Think twice: About doing anything rash to the groundhog.
It's really not his fault.
Shopping Siren's true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who know to stay away from calla lilies and other plants poisonous to pets) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at email@example.com.