Little surprises make one’s day. A small space treated with a large pot or a group of small ones now, that didn’t seem important before, becomes a delightful setting. These little spaces are everywhere. With a landscape architect’s sensitive eye for detail when appraising a building, garden or streetscape, a variety of design concepts with planting pots can be implemented.
Filling Empty Spaces by Planting Pots Serves a Purpose
In public buildings there are often small areas that constantly fill up with trash even though a trash receptacle is steps away. Why? Because these areas don’t have any purpose! Designing these spaces with gardening containers tells the public that the space is valuable and contributes to the building’s friendly demeanor.
In a small reception area (or an area with elevators), a small assembly of plants in planters makes the area important. It welcomes the visitor and styles an area that may be intentionally low profile and otherwise rather plain spoken.
Waiting areas in some hospitals or doctor offices display the odd habit of leaving a large open space in the middle of the room. It could be a preference for having people sitting next to each other, rather than across from each other. Whatever the reason, a simple and tidy plant grouping fills that space with a sunny disposition – an excellent idea for a medical visit. It also lends a note of warmth in what usually turns out to be a cold environment.
What a nice surprise it would be to find plants in a public rest room – Especially in a building frequented mainly by adults. It might help to alleviate the smell of disinfectant or possibly diminish the overbearing aroma of an air freshener. In rest rooms, plants have plenty of water around to keep them happy and turning the lights off at closing wouldn’t hurt them. Plants also absorb the echo in a room full of hard surfaces. Altogether, it’s a thoughtful idea that people would appreciate.
Considerations When Designing a Space with Plant Planters
Of course, the size of a space will dictate the scale of choices. Once scale is determined, the choices come down to types of vegetation (mindful of their water needs) and their planters. However, building maintenance may not appreciate being gifted with another care-taking chore on their list. Having said this, it is important to ensure that selected plants are of the low maintenance variety – unless the owner has an interior landscape company on contract.
Here is a great opportunity to introduce the public to some unusual native and exotic plants not usually found in urban areas. Adding these types of plants to an entrance or in a building will stimulate visitors’ curiosity and will enhance their overall experience in the facility.
As with any public space, the pots’ endurance comes into play. Stone, slate, and concrete are good and sturdy. They also are handsome planters that bring out the delicacy of the plants. The heavier the gardening containers, the less likely they’ll be disturbed in their position. Filling them with rocks, sand, and then dirt makes this achievable.
Look around to find these small invitations for design. The results are well worth the effort.
And if you have your own ideas or experiences with this, feel free to share them in the comments below.