Turn ordinary potted plants into miniature landscapes by choosing a soil cover that matches their look. There are lots of toppings to choose from, including aquarium stones, beach glass and even rosebuds.
CREATIVE SOLUTION | Plants potted up for the house are more than just leaves, stems and blossoms. They’re landscapes in miniature, with every aspect of their situation—the pot, the soil cover, the setting—adding to or detracting from the presentation. When I want my indoor plants to look all of a piece, I start by making associations.
Take the urn pictured above filled with fragrant Narcissus Thalia. I used diced dry leaves from the garden for top dressing. What made me think of doing this was seeing bulbs under a tree pushing up through decaying material. I used dried rather than fresh material because dried leaves match the patina on the urn.
Jade plants say Asia to me, so I paired the one above one with a black lacquer-look pot and beach glass. Available in craft stores, beach glass has the rounded look and a thickness the complements jade leaves. Another great soil cover is miniature, dried rosebuds sold at teashops, specialty food stores such as Galloway’s and Iranian supermarkets.
To keep a top dressing looking good, water plants by setting them in a pot of water. —Brendan Power
Photos: Martin Tessler, John Sinal