I can't get over what a difference it makes when you add a splash of green to a few key spots. It lifts my spirits and freshens my decor. Here are five quick tips for working plants into your home.

I am so greedy for green by the time spring rolls around that I can't just enjoy nature outside my window –– I have to fill my home with plants, too.

I can't get over what a difference it makes when you add a splash of green to a few key spots. It lifts my spirits and freshens my decor. Here are five quick tips for working plants into your home.
    
1. Celebrate the art of the topiary
    
I am crazy about live topiaries because they are verdant three-dimensional art. Live topiaries are a perfect way to celebrate Mother's Day, or to welcome spring. I know you are going to love them as much as I do.
    
2. Add romance with ferns
    
As I've said before, I do NOT have a green thumb. Every houseplant I've tried to grow has met the same disastrous end. My friend Melinda says that, for me, houseplants are like fresh flowers because they have about the same life span in my home (you gotta love your friends, don't you?). Still, I can't resist!

One of my all-time favorites is the maidenhair fern, and I pick up several every year. They are so romantic, with their wispy fronds, and they are particularly resilient –– if they wilt, just trim them and then give them some water, and they will come back.

Once I pick some pretty plants, I put them (plastic pots and all) into cachepots and work them into displays throughout my home. You may find one on a bedside table in my bedroom, on a vanity in the bathroom, on the mantel or a side table.

When the weather warms, I put a cluster on a plant stand on my screened porch. I like how the inside plants look against the green backdrop of my garden.

If you don't want the fuss and risk of using a live plant, try a fake. Many of today's faux plants look so real you'll have to pinch them to see if they are alive or not. Faux houseplants are also a great option for rooms you don't use often or for second residences, like a lake house.
    
3. Go for drama with a stately palm
    
Give a room a bit of exotic beauty by putting a large palm in a killer cachepot and displaying it in a prominent spot. This year, I picked up two palm trees, one for my entry and one for my living room. I slipped one palm into a large blue-and-white Asian cachepot and the other into a plain white cachepot.

The palm in my entry sits atop a 5-foot-tall pedestal and is stationed next to the staircase. It fills up this vacant space perfectly and gives me the “wow” factor I'm looking for. The palm in my living room is standing on the round table that divides the room into separate seating areas. The height of the plant helps separate the two spaces a bit more and gives me lots of vertical height, which I need in this loft space.
    
4. Freshen your front door
    
In the spring, I love to hang faux green wreaths on my door. I've gotten wreaths made from fern fronds, flowers and branches. This year, I'm crazy about a wreath made from preserved boxwood branches. It's simple and clean and perfect. You can hang it solo, and you have a powerful punch of natural color.
    
5. Get wild with green branches
    
One of my favorite looks is to make natural-looking arrangements out of real sticks and faux spring branches. To create this wild and wonderful look, select a big ginger jar, tall glass cylinder vase or tall iron garden urn.

Insert some bare fallen branches to create the base of the bouquet. Then work in faux picks that resemble spring branches covered in buds.

The goal is to arrange the pieces so the bouquet looks spontaneous and natural, like you were out trimming your bushes and just stuck the cuttings in a vase for a second. The jumble of branches captures the essence of spring.
    
The column has been adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at marycarol@nellhills.com.