Clayare admirable for growing plants in, but they cannot be said to be beautiful. The first thing to do is to conceal the , and a variety of ‘pothiders’ is available of cane, wicker, raffia, split wood, metal, etc. These will serve for a few plants, which can be stood here and there in the room, each in its own saucer. Too many individual plants, however, will make a lot of work and produce a restless, untidy atmosphere. When this happens, it is best to group the plants together in troughs, baskets or other containers, of which a very large range can be bought.
Individualcan be accommodated on their own trellis-work, made from cane or wicker pushed into the soil of the pot, and tied at the junctions. Many patterns will suggest themselves including ‘free’ arrange-ments made of thick wicker steamed, bent’to shape, and cooled in that .
Climbers with aerialcan be grown on a branch or stick to which sphagnum moss is thickly bound with copper wire. The roots enter the damp moss and the plant grows luxuriantly in a natural way. Such plants include , Hedera (ivies), Hoya, Philodendron, Scindapsus and . Plants on walls Where a wall space is avail-
able climbers can be trained on it effectively. An almost invisible support is provided by thin copper wire or strong thread stretched from skirting board to picture rail, but if a more formal effect is wanted, various materials can be used, such as expanded metal, wood trellis or criss-crossed bamboos.
Troughs and jardinieres
For most plants and most rooms, however, a trough-shapedis a particularly useful one. For one thing, a trough with solid or mesh sides can be filled with damp peat or moss into which the pots are plunged to improve air . Such long narrow containers can also be easily positioned – along the window is often ideal both for the plants and to fit with the furniture, or they can be placed at right angles to the window at one side. A very decorative effect is obtained by ‘framing’ the window with climbing plants, which can meet at the top, with a trough at or below sill level.
A wheeled trolley, with the plants on a tray, can be useful in a small room. By day it can be kept near the window, by night moved into the room. This is also an admirable way for an invalid to have and tend a selection of plants.