How you arrange your indoor plants can be every bit as interesting as the plants themselves. Here are some tips and ideas for creating great plant displays…
Inspiring containers – Think ‘out the box’ when it comes to pots and containers. Luckily there’s an abundance of choice nowadays. Materials to consider: concrete, copper, wood, stone, ceramic, woven textiles, glass, galvanised steel, etc! Just make sure that whatever vessels you choose have adequate drainage and won’t spill out onto floors and furniture.
Super succulents – Cacti planted in a rustic metal box and placed on a coffee table; or planted in groupings of assorted galvanised buckets on a patio, or even a whole indoor succulent garden planted inside a galvanised tub or wooden crate will definitely stand out – especially in a home with a farmhouse feel. Mix round, pointy, shiny, matte and flowering varieties together for added appeal.
Through the looking glass – Don’t throw away jam jars, bottles, chipped or mismatched glassware. Rather use them as ‘vases’ for an air-plant collection or your favourite cut flowers and mix and match them on a sideboard. Place potted plants in a colourful row on a bay-windowsill and hang baskets of sun-loving plants instead of curtains or blinds for a ‘living’ window treatment. Add style to your coffee table with a terrarium or two, and use glass cloches or bell jars to showcase a beautiful collection of orchids.
Hang ’em high – Hang air plants at varied heights in an empty, well-lit corner – in glass globes, teardrop terrariums, test tubes or colourful ceramic pods. For another unique display in the dining or kitchen area, suspend an indoor, custom-made pergola from the ceiling and ‘green’ it with a climbing plant or hanging ferns (keep them well groomed by trimming away stray fronds regularly). Use wall-mounted flowerboxes where floor space is limited (hexagon planters are especially eye-catching and can be grouped together in interesting ways), grow a vertical garden along a staircase wall, or use a ladder as a frame for a grouping of pots. The rungs are also great for drying bunches of herbs and flowers.
Theme your plant display – Grow an edible garden of fragrant herbs in recycled coffee tins or teacups; a desert garden with succulents planted amongst a grouping of rocks; a quaint English garden complete with urns, topiaries and other decorative touches, or go Zen with a Buddha statue, manicured bonsai tree and trickling water feature.
Consider the backdrop – From stripy wallpaper and interesting paint techniques, to wood panelling, mirrors and abstract art etc, showcasing your plants in front of a feature wall can add another ‘layer’ to the overall effect.
More hints and tips
• An abundance of greenery can help make a white colour scheme (like an all-white kitchen) really pop with crisp freshness.
• Make large potted plants mobile by setting them on wheels so you can easily roll them aside for cleaning, to protect from too much sun or just to arrange them differently for a quick décor change.
• Always choose plants with bright, glossy and firm foliage, and varieties that bloom with flowers that are fragrant and last a long time. Also consider plants with colourful foliage or leaves with unusual shapes and textures.
• Avoid artificial plants – yes, they’re maintenance-free, but they lack energy.
• Light your plant displays at night with spotlights or uplights to really bring them to life.
• Top the potting soil with pebbles, mulch, wood chips and such to not only add a neat finishing touch to your containers, but also to prevent water from evaporating too quickly.