Architectural plants are the backbone of any exterior planting scheme. If gardens are rooms, architectural plants are the furniture. These vital plants are the structure around which smaller or seasonal plants are placed. They act as focal points for a bed of plants to give them volume and presence. But they can also have more simple yet structural uses such as defining a doorway or walkway. Or just filling a space. Wherever they are used, they add height and visual impact to a design.
In modern minimalist architecture, structural plants are often used in isolation to create drama using a minimal number of plants. The choice of planter or pot that the architectural plants are placed in is often as important as the choice of the plant itself. The use of plants in sleek and cutting-edge exteriors helps soften the overall look. The coldness of stone, steel and glass emphasises the green of the foliage.
Architectural plants design tips
- Choose a bold or striking plant as a focal point to a flower bed or a collection of pots.
- Add instant height to a space to create more visual interest
- Using a large artificial as the focus plant(s) will require far less maintenance and will look good in any location.
- Use planting to soften the harsh lines of the outside of a building
Unlike their natural counterparts, Floresy artificial architectural plants will not grow bigger to obscure a window or view. What you get is how it will stay. This is a big advantage when designing a look of a space. Especially if the style is precise and ordered like minimalism often is. Very low maintenance also means no watering and no sweeping up dead leaves.
What makes a plant an architectural plant?
Some people may argue that certain plants can be classified as architectural whilst others will disagree. It is the use and placement of a plant that makes it architectural or structural. Because the plant needs to add a certain focus, architectural plants have similar traits. Architectural plants will often have at least one of the following:
- A distinctive shape
- A distinctive leaf colour or shape
- Evergreen or offer interest all year round
- Interesting bark or stems
- Generously sized (but aren’t we all?)
You can be creative and use any plant architecturally as it is all about the context. A climbing ivy or wisteria can be used to frame a doorway just as two identical topiary boxwoods in striking planters. Use low, ground-cover plants around the edge of a patio to create a visual boundary. Likewise, place them around the base of a statue or sculpture to contrast with its height.
Choosing architectural plants
Buying real architectural plants is certainly a considered purchase with mature specimens carrying a hefty price tag. A significant advantage of choosing a Floresy artificial architectural plant is that your investment will require far less maintenance, look exactly the same all year round, will not grow to spoil a design and can be moved to different locations and still look just as good. All these factors mean that your investment is more secure and has a longer lifespan than a real plant could be.
Tall and upright architectural plants
Yucca plants are known for their tough, sword-like spiky leaves and are popular as both an indoor and outdoor plant. The leaves of a sansevieria are also spiky and are also known as ‘snake tongue’. They come in a dark green and this yellow-green variety. Both this artificial yucca and this sansevieria are great solutions for adding vertical drama when floor space is at a premium. The yucca and Sansevieria are also useful for creating a more tropical feel to a setting.
Formal architectural plants
Nothing is more classical in a garden landscape than a box topiary. This beautiful box in a pot from Floresy combines the formal choice of the plant with a softer shape and styling. With a bonsai-inspired shape, this particular product will suit any more formal setting including oriental gardens because of this delicate shaping. The thuja conifer tree offers a very traditional look and so is equally suited to a formal presentation. You can easily imagine a line of these trees flanking a gravel walkway on the approach to a stately hotel or conference centre. But they will look equally at home in a very professional office reception. It is a very flexible choice because you can use it in a variety of different situations.
Bushy and big architectural plants
Same as the thuja, Larch trees are also conifers. This variety from Floresy is available up to 180cm in height so it’s big without being too unpractical. They can easily fill a space but their more delicate branches will not block the light. In addition, they can be decorated with lights for a romantic effect. The cycas is a bold a bushy plant which means it is ideal for a central placement. Its big enough so that you can add additional plants underneath or just plant individually in a gravel bed.