I need to see flowers. Right now.

In the depths of winter, we could all do with some blooming cheer. It's easy and relatively inexpensive to create a colorful windowsill garden.

Winter bloomers such as African violets, streptocarpus, kalanchoe, bromeliads and orchids brighten any windowsill. They can be arranged with pots of striking foliage plants such as peperomia, rubber tree and rex begonias. 

The latter are extremely pretty, valued for their multi-colored leaves in shades of pink, maroon, silver and dark green. The small flowers are secondary to their foliage.

Buy smaller, less expensive plants. The grouping can be showcased in unified pots, such as terracotta ones, or with an eclectic assortment of glazed or decorated pots. 

Use long, narrow trays that fit your windowsill or place the pots on individual saucers. If the grouping is on a kitchen windowsill, you'll be most likely to check them every few days for water. Smaller pots dry out quickly in our low humidity.

While a windowsill garden is no substitute for digging and planting in the garden outside, it may lift your spirits as you wash dishes.