The idea of house plants usually conjures up images of pale and limp spider plants forgotten on a landing windowsill. However, plants are increasingly becoming central in interior design mood boards, bringing outside greenery to ever more urbanised environments.
With clever choices plants can become the focal point of a room. Something unusual like a coffee plant is ideal for caffeine addicts. Although they take a few years before bearing those all-important berries, it’s a great talking point, and is reassuringly low maintenance.
For those with a conservatory, keep the decor fresh with zesty colours and complement with miniature citrus trees: lemon, orange and kumquat provide literal fruits from the labour of caring for them, and the warmth of a conservatory is ideal for boosting growth. With anything where edible plants are grown inside be certain to choose the best pots for drainage and a complete multi-purpose compost.
TV chefs have long been fans of herbs in kitchens and foodies have been quick to try it themselves. A long, rustic planter next to a window is great for growing a variety of herbs. Choose herbs that’ll be regularly used, and top up the compost with a suitable plant food. Herbs for show can be spotted a mile off, so it looks better to have herbs that are obviously regularly picked.
However, houses are increasingly blurring the boundaries between the outside world with the inside sphere. Glass sliding walls mean living rooms can now extend into the garden. Heather looks great set in square pots either side of an open wall, marking the walkway from inside to out. A little harder to grow, specialist ericaceous compost is needed for heather to flourish. The range of colours available makes heather a versatile choice too, blending interior design with garden landscaping.
Of course, one little trick to make caring for house plants easier is to mix real with fake. Choose phony perennials in background positions, such as on upper shelves, to complement a blooming centrepiece. Anthurium is a stunning plant, and will suit stripped wooden floors and a deep, rich colour scheme.
See also: Interior Design Trends for 2014
For those who are averse to fake plants and aren’t particularly green fingered, cacti offer a happy intermediary. Set against a sleek, post-industrial décor scheme, cacti offer a beautiful reminder of the wilderness of nature. Unlike vases and ornaments, plants don’t need daily dusting, just sunshine, water and a little TLC.
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