Category Archives: Decorating With Flowers, Greenery & Trees

Decorating With Flowers & Trees #2: Meet Your Greens

Civilization meets the great outdoors…

A potted Zizi plant needs so little light it can almost thrive in a closet

inside your home.

A very easy but very effective way to dress a table, console or mantle, is to use one or three big “elephant” leaves, big fern fronds, or sizable clusters of magnolia branches in large glass vases.

These “greens” look great in modern or traditional settings.  Another winner if you have the space, is to use cut branches from flowering trees such as dogwood and cherry, or shrubs such as forsythia.  Make sure the container is big enough in scale to balance the size of your branches so that they don’t look “top heavy”.  Though they are harder to track down, it’s worth the effort because they “keep” longer and add a lot of “wow!” wherever used.

Growing beautiful plants indoors is tricky because the right setting isn’t determined by aesthetics as much as available sunlight. There are however, species that do well in relatively low light areas, such as variegated philodendrons and dieffenbachia.  A truly great choice is a beautiful plant called a Zizi.  It needs so little light, it’s rumored to be able to thrive in a closet…but don’t quote me on that.  All plants need some light.  An in-depth conversation with the “Plant Experts” at your local nursery or plant resource is a very good idea to nail down the particulars of your “lighting situation” and will lead you to the best solutions.

If you have abundant space and light, indoor trees are a wonder both for architectural effect and sheer beauty. Some flowering trees supply “scent opportunities” as well.  I have evidence you can fool Mother Nature, some of the time.  Years ago I lived in an old apartment house, complete with a steam pipe and a rattling radiator.  There was at least, plenty of heat in the winter, though the air was so parchingly dry, I needed two humidifiers in a 15ft. X 20ft. room.  By happy accident, my lemon trees thought they were in a hot house…and bloomed in February! Trees can be used to great effect to fill corners, act as transition screens from one area in a large room to another or simply as focal points in of themselves.

Whether you choose vases of flowers, pots of plants, or the drama of the gifted tree, don’t lose sight of the principles of balance and scale. A tiny waist high tree in a big corner looks silly, as does a hodge-podge of containers on every surface.  Restraint and a plan will save the day.  A big, tall space needs a big, tall tree.  If your tree or shrub is too short but otherwise substantial looking, set it on a stool or bench.

Think of a potted plant like you would a treasured object for display. If it’s big and beautiful, make it the star of where ever you place it and minimize other objects on the same surface.  As you would do with a collection of objects, group several smaller pots together for greater impact.  Groupings of odd numbers (3 or 5 pots for example) of varying heights works best, or a line of small matching pots along a windowsill or mantel can also be effective.

Think in terms of creating a composition. Make a vignette on a table using a lovely bouquet or plant in an interesting container, with an intriguing picture, and a lamp of appropriate scale.  Make sure each of these items relates to the others.  Don’t hang the picture too high, or place the lamp too far away.  Nestle things in like the best of friends.

Even if you don’t cook, clay pots of herbs in a kitchen have charm.  Line them along a window reveal if it’s deep enough.  Another good-looking idea is to mount glass shelves in the window if it’s sunny and you don’t particularly love the view.

Spanish or green moss on top of the soil is a great way to give a more “dressed” look to your containers in any part of the house.

Surely, it goes without saying, that only healthy,

well-tended and trimmed plants will enhance your rooms.

Fresh flowers, green cuttings, plants and indoor trees have a way of lifting one’s spirits.  Take advantage of the simple things in life and treat yourself to a lovelier, happier home.

Related Posts

Decorating With Flowers & Trees #1: Say It With Flowers

Feng Shui: Practical Magic For Your Home

Furniture Arrangement #4: The Plot & The Measure

This is one of several articles I wrote for publication on It’s presented here as a foundation for further topic discussion, updates and commentaries…

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