An exotic plant needs only the simplest of backgrounds to show it off to best advantage. If you have a sun porch, sunroom or conservatory, you have the ideal environment for your scene-stealing plant.
Frames for climbers
Climbers need training. You can use rigid square or expanding diamond shaped trellis on walls and around windows. An arch-shaped trellis can be used so that a climber forms an attractive curved frame for a large plant or tree. Use lengths of wire at ceiling height in parallel lines stretched across the room to support large climbers. You will need to protect these plants from scorching by the sun with blinds or special anti-glare paint.
A grape vine looks very effective trained in this way in a conservatory, especially when bunches of grapes hang decoratively overhead. Wire can be used on the walls too, to support climbers. Special nails, called vine-eyes, are available with ‘eyes’ to thread the wire through, holding it away from the wall and allowing space for the plants to climb. Preformed metal arbour and archway forms are also available for training plants into decorative shapes. Use one where you want a special climber to create a focal point, or to divide one part of the room off from another.
Trailing plants become most interesting when viewed at eye level or just above. Group three hanging baskets together at varying levels and use for three specimens of the same plant. Italian Bellflowers (Campanula lisophylla) would form a waterfall of blue.
Shelves placed high on the wall and used for trailing plants can create a similar effect. If you wanton old-world look, use old wrought-iron cistern brackets as shelf supports. These can also be used as supports for hanging baskets.
Most plants enjoy close proximity as each plant creates some humidity for the others.
Whenplants take into account their size, shape, texture and colour. Use tall plants to provide the background. They need not be placed centrally – one could be placed to one side of the group at the back. Some plants can be placed on plinths if you want to give them height; you can use an upside-down container for this. Mix dark green glossy with light coloured variegated or feathery-leafed plants and bring in colour with just a few flowering or coloured- plants.
Plants can be grown together in a bed or grouped in. Use large rocks placed among the plants to add interest to a bed, and include some small statues or a piece of sculpture in the group of plants. The clever use of lighting can enhance the even further.
Plants for exotic displays
Climbers and trailers
- has evergreen leaves and crimson surrounded by white sepals.
- Chilean Bellflower is an evergreen lily-like climber with white, red, or white-spotted red flowers.
- can have pale blue or white tiny star-like flowers.
- has clusters of tiny white, highly scented flowers.
- has bracts in white, orange, red, yellow, pink or purple that surround miniature white flowers.
- Chenille Plant has tassel-like pink flowering spikes that trail.
Large specimen plants
- with its arching fronds can grow as tall as 2.5m (8ft).
- Coconut Palm thrives in tropical conditions and is fast growing.
- Citrus trees— Lemon, Lime, Orange, Tangerine and Grapefruit— all have fragrant flowers as well as fruit. Jacaranda is a graceful tree with fernlike foliage.
- commonly has pink flowers but white, red, purple, yellow and orange are also available, plus a variegated leaf variety. This is a plant, so don’t keep it if you have young children in the house.
- has flowers of yellow and blue that resemble the head of a tropical bird.
- Caladium has insignificant flowers but wonderful coloured leaves that can be mottled red, pink, silver, white and green or a mix of all these colours.
- is a with bright pink bracts that support flowers.
- of most types will flourish provided they have 12 hours of light every. Day.
- Camellias come in pink, red, white, or salmon and with single, double or semi-double flower heads.
- Flamingo Plant has brilliant red disc-shaped spathes.