For those fortunate enough to have decent shelter, spring’s slow warm-up act has been more annoyance than genuine hardship.
There is a solution of sorts, if you ask designer Shane Powers. Powers has a long track record of interior design work for major publications, and one of those gigs opened his eyes to the possibilities of using plants and natural plant materials for their decorating value. The result is his book “Bring The Outdoors In.”
Powers does clarify that his approach is not gardening, per se, but using living plants and plant materials to create miniature landscapes and what he calls “three-dimensional still-lifes.” The actual creations can be topiaries, terrariums, hanging gardens or water gardens, or other features, and can be mounted on walls, suspended from ceilings or simply placed on furniture, windowsills or other platforms.
• Aquatic plants: These can be floating or tethered to the “sea” floor.
• Dried/pressed materials: Though you’ll likely lose some color intensity, dried plant materials offer the virtue of low or no maintenance requirements.
• Ferns: Powers singles these plants out for their complex forms, decorating value and their ancient pedigree, which stretches back 300 million years.
• Mosses & lichens: These prehistoric plant types can be used live or dried, and both offer rich textures and colors.
• Succulents & cacti: Slow growth rates and low maintenance requirements make them well-suited for indoor use, but most need a lot of direct sunlight.
The list goes on to include tillandsia (so called “air plants” that grow without soil), vines and other specimens.
The 20 projects comprise the main portion of the book; each includes a materials list, instructions for assembly and guidelines on care and maintenance.