Plant Interior Design Idea

A generation ago, houseplants meant straggly spider plants scrambling over macramé pot holders, or unappetizing cheese plants sulking in a corner. Nowadays, high-maintenance houseplants have been joined by a range of more easy-come, easy-go shrubs such as lavender and rosemary. In addition, you can often use plants that are normally associated with the garden inside the home, provided they get sufficient light and are not kept in a room that is too hot.

Old-fashioned house plants were commonly derived from unsuitable exotic stocks that required heat but little light. Like all displaced individuals culled screaming from their indigenous climates, they required a daily commitment to tender loving care and often a big dose of psychoanalysis from their owners. Although such plants are still very popular, and the natural beauty they bring into the home can be well worth the effort involved intending them, these days simpler alternatives are just as likely to be used to plug a decorative hole - a whitewashed terracotta pot filled with lavender or rosemary, for example,

If you have a plant in your garden that you particularly like, why not pot one and bring it indoors? If the plant starts to look unhappy in its new home, simply put it back outside for a while. You will be surprised at how well some plants will grow inside - heathers seem to love spending time on an indoor windowsill and can grow exuberantly in such pampered conditions.

NATURE'S BOUNTY The variety of different plants that are readily available nowadays is staggering and, for the many people who know little about plant care, it can be difficult to choose the right one. Most garden centers and nurseries employ well-trained staff who can help you make your decision but perhaps the easiest approach from an interior design point of view is simply to buy what you like the look of Indeed, don't ever limit yourself to indoor plants or you will miss out on the wonderful outdoor variety. As long as you monitor your chosen plant's progress and ensure it has light and water, the death rate is unlikely to be too high.

Choosing Indoor Plant pots

The subject under discussion here is the pot itself. As far as the mechanics of potting are concerned, there are plenty of good gardening books and magazines that explain this procedure in-depth or you could ask someone at your local garden center for advice. Asking which potting soil would be best, what size the pot needs to be, and what location would best suit the plant in question should do the trick. You can then concentrate on the enjoyable business of choosing divine containers for your plant selection.

Choosing an appropriate container is the most important aesthetic decision you have to make when displaying plants in your home. Just tapping them out of their plastic straitjacket and slipping them into something watertight and gorgeous is an instant recipe for success. Few will die, a large proportion will thrive and those that don't would probably have been subject to the laws of natural selection in any case (or so you can tell yourself).

The Victorians used to vie with each other to come up with more and more ornate china vessels for houseplants. These days, plain pots made from natural materials are often considered the most attractive, but a surprising or exotic container can transform even the most common garden bulb into a stunning centerpiece. The key is to choose a container that suits the interior, so a simple rustic earthenware pot in a country cottage-style scheme is as much a slice of plant heaven as a hyacinth in a Sèvres planter in the Salon des Glaces at Versailles.

JAPANESE PAPER VASE The sculptural qualities of this dwarf conifer have been explored to bring a feeling of topiary grandeur to a Georgian pot cupboard. The plant stays in its nursery pot, which is sleeved by a contemporary folded paper Japanese vase. The rhythm of the complementary shapes ending in the conifer's apex is stunning.

GLAZED EARTHENWARE Spring daffodils in a cream glazed earthenware pot and saucer broadcast the end of winter in this pretty country kitchen. Even the dark green of the washing-up liquid in its heavy glass bottle picks up on the natural color scheme.

MODERN CONTAINERS In the loft apartment on the left, herbs have been arranged on a contemporary staircase that rises up across the wall with illuminated niches. The black plastic pots in which the plants were bought have been placed inside clear beaded plastic containers bought from a graphics supply store, though simple bubble wrap envelopes could be used to achieve a similarly stylish urban look. The rough, organic colors of the wall treatment pictured on the right are magnified through the heavy glass tank vases in which the plants are suspended over a reservoir of water.

One of the most pleasurable sights at the end a long, cold winter is the sea of color provided by the newly emerging flowers of spring bulbs. As a flowering bulb for indoor use, hyacinths combine a heavenly scent with a bold, sculptural form that makes them a perpetually useful display staple. According to Greek legend, these pretty flowers were supposed to have sprung from Hyacinthus' blood when he was killed, or from Apollo's tears at his lover's death.

EDWARDIAN JUGS The contrasting blues of the hyacinth flowers and the detail on the china Edwardian jugs rhyme beautifully, while the slightly incongruous addition of moss makes what might have been a rather formal statement easier on the eye.

RHYTHMIC ROW The bulbs, with their squiggly roots, have here been cloaked by a mantel of gravel. The simple, repetitive rhythm of the arrangement makes this mantelpiece display contemporary yet natural at the same time.

MIX-AND-MATCH CONTAINERS For this romantically modern bathroom, an informal collection of containers looks natural and uncontrived. Although each of the shapes is different, a common theme has been pursued to keep the arrangement from becoming anarchic

GILDED URN For a bit of country house glamour, the urn has been gilded to act as a grand container for a collection of white and blue hyacinths. The unexpected joy of white hyacinths is the gorgeous fresh green they present when on the verge of flowering, which here acts as a virginal counterbalance to the richness of the gold leaf.

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