I like winter in New England for about a week, maybe two, around Christmas when there's a couple of inches of fresh, sparkly snow.
When it's the middle of winter, how I yearn for spring! The White Poinsettia left over from the holidays and the Paperwhites mom gave me for Christmas certainly begin to tide me over. But, I find that visiting very special greenhouses really helps a lot. The ones at the Lyman Estate Greenhouses in Waltham, MA fall into this catagory. These are also some of the oldest surviving greenhouses in the country and consist of four structures: 1804 Grape House, 1820 Camellia House, 1840 Orchid House, and a 1930 green house which features items for sale.
I first went here some years back with my Dad during the winter. We arrived in the morning when the green houses get a lot of light. A number of the pictures I took came out incredibly well. They can be seen here (just look for Lyman Estate in the title, there are 9 or so). I went again again this past Saturday with my friend. Take a look at this greenhouse:
Doesn't this make you forget about winter?! We got there late in the day (a half an hour before closing). But still was able to look at everything and even make some great purchases. Here's what I bought:
A Grey Lady Plymouth Scented Geranium (is at 1 o'clock), a Button Fern (is at 2 o'clock), a Serissa Foetida Mt Fuji Bonsai Tree (is at 6 o'clock), a Ficus Pumila Creeping Fig (is at 7 o'clock) and a Victory White Camellia (is at 11 o'clock). The total charge for this was just $35 plus MA tax of $1.91!
See what greenhouses there are near where you live, which you can tour. You may be quite surprised at what is available. Many of these places are for free. This includes the Lyman Estate Greenhouses (there is a fee for the Historic New England (formerly SPNEA) residence on the property, but it is nominal). Check colleges and universities. Wellesley College is another place close to Boston which has a wonderful greenhouse you can tour. Inquire with local botanical and horticultural societies about where interesting greenhouses are. They may even have one of their own. An example of this would be Worcester County Horticultural Society's Tower Hill Botanical Garden and incredible Orangerie which is similar to a greenhouse or a conservatory.