Grouping Flowering Plants Into Displays

Striking arrangements can be made by grouping plants of one colour and species together or by adding one or two flowering plants to a large green plant display — it doesn’t have to be a costly alternative to a single specimen.

All of one type

A group of plants of a single type will produce a strong splash of colour that instantly draws the eye. When arranging, use odd rather than even numbers as this usually creates the best shape. In spring, mass Primroses in a basket and put them on a hall table to welcome visitors. On a windowsill use an indoor window-box to hold a line of Busy Lizzies or Florists’ Chrysanthemums. Here you could mix the tones and choose Chrysanthemums from gold to deep russet. Flowering plants are best kept in their pots, which can be surrounded by damp peat to retain humidity. Line a large container first with pebbles or clay pellets to ensure good drainage and stop plant roots becoming waterlogged.

Grouping Flowering Plants Into Displays

Mixing with green plants

A background of green plants will bring out the clear colour of a flowering plant and the flower colour will highlight the greens. There is a natural benefit to grouping plants as each provides humidity for the others, something most plants need. It is also easier to care for a group than for individual plants dotted about the house, provided they have the same temperature and water requirements.

Choose a suitable spot for your group that can be viewed from a distance, like a picture. Consider the following alternatives:

  • An unused fireplace
  • Sill or table in front of a window
  • Coffee or dining table
  • Bath surround
  • Turn in the stairs
  • Room corner
  • Side of patio doors, or French window

Arrange green plants in your chosen position and include plants in a mixture of leaf colours and textures. Use upside-down pots if you need to add height to some of the plants. Finally, position the flowering plant in the foreground. This could be chosen to tone with the surrounding room colour scheme or deliberately picked as a strong contrast. In a room decorated yellow, for example, you could first display a bowl of daffodils, and when these are over, replace them with clear blue Cape Primrose plants as a counterpoint.

Keeping down the cost

The cost of buying a constant supply of plants when they are flowering, or buying a number of one type, can be high but you can keep expense to a minimum if you take cuttings or grow plants from seed. Swap plants at the small plant stage with friends so that you can both extend your collection. Don’t forget that many flowering plants grown from bulbs, corms and tubers can be stored to bloom again the following year.

Display ideas

  • Use an unused fireplace for a garden tub of Regal Geraniums, backed by ferns and a Weeping Fig.
  • For a small winter display, group Bead Plants in a bowl on a low table.
  • Train a Morning Glory up one side of a window as a backdrop to a small windowsill display of green plants.
  • In a north-facing window hang basket, of various ferns and Primroses.
  • Use an old decorative vegetable dish for a dining table centrepiece of miniature Cyclamen or African Violets.
  • Make a table centrepiece of one flowering plant then echo it in another specimen used as part of a corner arrangement.

Flowering plants by seasons

Autumn and winter

There are a surprising number of autumn and winter flowering plants in colours apart from the wonderful fiery reds we instantly think of. There ,ire plants with flowers in rust, apricot, gold, white, pink and blue; in fact there is a plant with flowers to subtly blend or strikingly contrast with any room colour scheme.

Spring

Apart from the wide range of spring bulbs there are many other flowering plants that will continue to produce flowers over a long period.

Summer

Plants with flowers of every colour are available in summer and many garden plants can be brought indoors temporarily when extra colour is needed. Give plants plenty of light and humidity where necessary.

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