Gardening Tips: Put A Little Skirt On It

By Andrea Pavee

Plants housed indoors or out lend a distinct, but beautiful charm to any home.

Some homeowners, however, feel that the “bare bones” of exposed topsoil, makes them look “naked”, and perhaps, unsightly.

The good news? There’s a host of solutions available for you to fix that up right quick. Just “put a little skirt on them”!

Marcia gifted me a beautiful Epipremnum Pinnatum about a year ago. It has since grown tall, lush and green. When I first received it, I noticed she had scattered a handful of white gravel at its base, thus giving the pot a dappled black (soil) and white (gravel) look. That was a learning moment for me.

Fast forward a few months later,  Kar Im gifted me with a beautiful potted bamboo, just about a foot high. These are an annual rage, especially during the Chinese New Year season. She had bought hers just after its close and nurtured it to a lush beauty before gifting it to me. 

I love the aesthetic of my bamboo. She sits proud on a wooden platform in a flat, round Chinese bowl. Her branches are tied with red ribbons, striped with weaves of gold. The base of her soil is layered with white gravel, giving her a clean, polished look.

“Naked” soil bases can be “skirted” with a number of alternatives, depending on your personal tastes. Create a dappled effect, or cover your bases with gravel, river stones, glass marbles, or even wood chips. These materials come in a variety of shades and colours, to suit all preferences and tastes.

Layering pots is yet another alternative to “skirt” your pot.

A few months into my new found hobby, I had a streak of inspiration and decided to experiment with pot layering. My learning moment actually occurred years ago, was when I paid a visit to a friend’s home. His wife, a very experienced and avid gardener, had many layered pots scattered throughout their garden.

Layered plantings are a process where different types of plants are nurtured in the same pot in order to give the viewer a different line of sight, at different levels.

For instance, I have a fig leaf tree. To keep her looking lush, I have planted some Rhoeo Dwarf bushes at her base. As she grows, so will my Rhoeos, giving her a pleasing, layered look. 

The benefit of layering pots is that you can create a lush garden even with a few plantings.

The choice of the base plants are up to you. 

Other than Rhoeos, you can opt for the ever-hardy money plant, Japanese roses, Periwinkles, or the Purple Heart (Tradescantia Pallida).

Happy Gardening!

p.s. Rhoeo bushes also go by the name “Moses in the Cradle”. Matured bushes sprout delicate white flowers at their base from which the name “cradle” hails from!

By Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 20 August 2021

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