Indoor plants are a vital feature of the well-furnished hall. It is here that guests gain their first impression of the inside of your home. Beautiful leaves and flowers are an immediate indication of a well-tended house. If your hall is large, well-lit and heated in winter then you are indeed fortunate and should make the most of the opportunity. Don’t scatter a few pots about – go for the bold and the unusual.
A plant display in the bathroom is much more likely to be seen in a magazine than in the home, but with a little thought plants can always be used here to add a touch of interest or even luxury.
It is strange that so few bathrooms contain house plants. A warm bathroom with a large frosted-glass window is perhaps the best room in the house for the beautiful varieties which have come to us from humid habitats. In addition few other locations in the house need the softness and greenness of plants to reduce the hardness of their surfaces.
Sundials have been around for more than three thousand years. Their history dates back to the ancient Egypt. Shaped like a letter L, a comparison of the length of the shadow of the two lines of the L indicated the time of the day. The Romans took this ancient design and modified it into the sundial we know today.
Sundials were marked with hours and minutes. There were those that marked dates, seasons, and tides. With the invention of clocks, sundials became obsolete. These days sundials are mostly found in gardens as a part of the gardening décor. Sundials work according to the rotation of the earth in relation to the sun. The shadow of the gnomon travels 15 degrees every hour; this allows the sundial to be marked, determining the hour of the day.
Wildlife can be enticed into the garden by providing a variety of habitats and sources of food. Ideally, the garden should contain a woodland area, a wild flower meadow and a pond, all features that can be adapted to fit into a small wildlife garden successfully. Make the most of the conditions that prevail in your garden. For example, a poor soil is ideal for growing a wild flower meadow, while a damp, shady area will suit many woodland plants.
Other good habitats include a pond and a dry stone wall or a pile of logs. You need plants that will supply pollen, nectar, berries and seeds. Wild flowers will also encourage many small creatures. Give structure to the garden with a natural stone path set in grass or a forest bark path winding through a grove of trees.
The kitchen is second only to the living room as the most popular place for indoor plants – more than half have at least one pot or plant trough. This popularity is not really surprising as there are several factors which make the kitchen a good place for many foliage plants and flowers. Some members of the family may spend much of the day here and the moist environment is beneficial for most plants. In addition the somewhat clinical appearance of white or pastel units, steel sinks etc can be softened and enlivened by the presence of colorful plants.
By far the most popular spot for kitchen plants is the windowsill. There is usually a hotch-potch of types – African Violets next to recently-rooted cuttings, pots of cacti next to bulbs in bowls, sickly plants taken from other rooms next to primulas and ivies.
Two sorts of Azalea are widely available as flowering pot plants. The Indian azalea (Rhododendron simsii) is by far the most popular one – the less usual type is the Japanese Azalea (Rhododendron obtusum). Both are dwarf shrubs which grow about 1-1½ ft high.
Countless Indian Azaleas are bought every year at Christmas time to provide decoration during the holiday season and into The New Year. When buying a plant pick one with a few open flowers and a mass of buds. Without correct care the flowers wilt and the leaves drop in a week or two. The secret of keeping a plant in bloom for many weeks and capable of coming back into flower the following year is to keep it wet (not just moist), distinctly cool and brightly lit. Remove faded flowers promptly.