Birdcage styling

Plant Magic - birdcage 2

It’s an aesthetic that works immediately – to my eyes at least – and a combo that I saw most recently at The English Flowerhouse.  

The Victorians at the heights of their interior splendour had the most extraordinary jardineres, aquariums and birdcages in their homes and conservatories.  Taking a leaf from their book, Plant Magic (1990s) talks us through blending these different interests – creating a plant display in an old birdcage.  It’s not just about the aesthetics though, a cage is an also an inspired way to protect delicate plants life ferns.

And as they say, markets and antiques shops are a good source of old and interesting items for containers and displays – especially as we’re all seemingly drawn to a little nostalgia these days. But more of that another day.

Ideal plants for this project are small specimens, dwarf varieties and trailing plants – these will emphasise the graceful design of the birdcage and not obscure it.  They will also fit through the doors of the cage (!). Palms and ferns suit the Victorian style, and terracotta pots make for a unifying effect.

On a practical note, we are told to fill the bottom with moisture-retentive clay pellets to hep with humidity and may have to invest in a watering can with a thin enough spout to fit through the bars.  Put the tallest plants in the middle, leave room for growth and consider the display from every angle.

Recommended plants: Rhaphidophora aurea, Chamaedora tenella, Ceropegia woodii, Ficus pumila, Gyperus argenteostriatus, Adiantum raddianum, Fittonia argyroneura, Pilea involucrata, Glechoma hederacae variegata, Sedum sieboldii mediovariegatum.