Using Occasional Tables To Display House Plants

Occasional tables of every shape and size form good bases for displays. Grouped green plants on a long side table can highlight a picture, reflect in a mirror or act as a foil to favourite objects. A small circular table can form a platform for a grand display.

Against a wall

As the wall forms the backdrop to a side table plant display, bear the wall colour pattern in mind when picking the plants. If a picture will form part of the display, plants in colours picked from the picture can create co-ordination. A mirror can be used to create a lush effect but check the image as you arrange the plants because the back view will need to be as attractive as the front.

Placed in the centre of a table, a symmetrical arrangement with a larger central plant is likely to be most effective. On the other hand, if you want to group plants at one end of the table consider arranging them to form a right-angled triangle with a large plant placed to form the back or side edge. You could also place identical plants one at each end of the table to frame a picture, and put lower-height decorative objects in the middle so the group forms a shallow U-shape.Using Occasional Tables To Display House Plants

A floor-standing plant can be incorporated in a tabletop display. This usually looks most effective if plants are of a similar shape or texture.

Small pedestal table

Everyone knows that a large bowl of flowers can look marvellous on its own on a small table. A plant display can have much the same effect, achieved by mixing plant leaf shapes and colours, and mingling bushy plants and trailing plants. Alternatively, use a table as a plant stand to show off one stunning specimen plant.

Hidden tables

Behind a sofa or in a corner, a low table can give the necessary space for a large arching plant such as a fern or Umbrella Plant, allowing spreading leaves to be shown off to best effect.

Uplights placed at floor level can be used to create a striking lighting effect by throwing shadows of the leaves on the ceiling and walls.

Matching style

Modern look relies on simplicity and clean lines. Plants with striking, well-defined foliage blend best with today’s glass and pottery on streamlined furniture.

Cottage style cane or pine furniture can be highlighted with baskets of Primrose, spring bulbs, Myrtle or Marguerite. Also, stoneware can be used for attractive rustic containers.

Country garden can be brought indoors with Hydrangeas, a Camellia or a Gardenia and shown off in a large floral bowl grouped with a shallow dish of sweet-smelling pot pourri.

Oriental style is based on perfect balance and simple shapes. Show off a bonsai on a plain black or white table, either on its own or grouped with another bonsai and some complementary stones in the style of a Japanese garden.

Ethnic effect can be created by using plants with items from their natural surroundings or colours. Cacti for instance could be displayed in a sand-coloured terracotta bowl, jungle plants arranged with gnarled wood and pottery and fabrics from the same regions incorporated.

Single-flower displays

  • Primulas and Primroses massed in a basket give a lovely rural or country garden effect.
  • Use three Urn Plants in an off-white or pink pot for an unusual effect.
  • Regal Geraniums provide a long-lasting summer indoor garden. Mix tones of one colour to blend with the room’s colour scheme.
  • Zebra Plants grouped in a white china planter bring exotic sunny colour to the room from June onwards.

Plants for mixed displays

Trailing varieties

  • English Ivy comes in many forms with different leaf shapes and colours.
  • Mother of Thousands produces hanging, threadlike stems from the mother plant.
  • Spider Plant with its white striped strap-like leaves also produces plantlets on long stems that trail attractively.
  • Piggyback Plant is particularly decorative in its variegated form and has tiny leaflets growing from the leaf centres.

Small upright plants

  • Aluminium Plant has attractive silver patterns on its leaves.
  • Artillery Plant has succulent stems and tiny densely- packed leaves, similar to fern fronds.
  • Mind-Your-Own-Business forms a ball of tiny bright green leaves.
  • Polka Dot Plant has leaves dotted in many tones of pink and red.

Medium-size bushy plants

  • Cast Iron Plant with its large, shiny leaves, is happy in most environments.
  • Chinese Evergreen with its large, attractively variegated leaves will tolerate shade.
  • Caladium has heart-shaped leaves with veins in red, pink or green.

Ideal specimen plants

  • Comb Flower combines long leaf stalks with decora- tive variegated leaves.
  • Peacock Plant has extremely decorative foliage but needs warmth.

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