Combining plants and pictures

Combining plants and pictures to form an arrangement will be most effective if you use colour, pattern or shape as the link between them.

Colour co-ordination

A plant that picks out one of the colours used in the picture will draw the eye both to painting and plant.

Inter-related subjects

Choose plants that echo the subject of the picture. Ferns are a natural choice with a woodland scene. You could match a bonsai with an Oriental painting or a cactus with ethnic textiles hung on the wall.

A painting of a plant or flower grouped with a plant of the same type will make a far stronger impact than either would displayed on their own. This is not as difficult as it sounds. Photograph a favourite plant, then frame the enlarged print. Group with the original subject or form a larger arrangement of plants as required.

Planning themesCombining plants and pictures

You can also show off a colour in a picture by positioning the plant separately, so long as the colour chosen is bright. In a room of muted tones pick a strong colour in a large picture for your plant plant group and place this on a coffee or side table elsewhere in the room. The colour will draw the eye from one to the other.

When creating a still-life from plants and paintings consider adding some accessories that also repeat the theme. Shells could be added to a seascape, cones and nuts to a country view.

Where to use

An arranged group incorporating and a picture is suitable for almost any situation in the home.

  • In bathrooms and kitchens pictures add a decorative finish to functional rooms that can suffer from large areas of plain colour. The effect can be enhanced by including plants. Place a picture above the loo and use the cistern top as a plant shelf, or add a shelf below a picture on an otherwise empty wall.
  • A living room is an obvious choice for a striking arrangement. Hang pictures close to the surfaces where plants can stand.
  • A beautifully arranged group of plants and accessories can provide an exciting still-life without the inclusion of a painting. Here are some suggestions:
  • Use a wall container to display a showy plant, or hang three matching planted wall baskets at different levels.
  • Use a collection of jugs, teapots or bowls as plant containers and arrange along a shelf or windowsill. Plants could be interspersed with fresh flowers.
  • Paint two or three old baskets in shades of green, then hang by their handles at different levels in a corner and fill them with decorative ferns.

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