Creating a green vignette with plantscaping

Plantscaping is about the strategic placement and selection of plant species within an architectural project to enhance the spatial design

A vignette is an arrangement of objects that tell a story and are the basis of a styling profession. They have become more popular recently as they are perfect for sharing on image based-social media (think: Instagram or  Pinterest). Creating a green vignette is telling your own unique story but with the beauty of plants and planters.

The Basics:

Choose a flat surface, such as a sideboard. Small to medium vignettes work on shelves. Single plants often can look lost, these will work better on a windowsill or a bedside table that is not cluttered with ornaments.

If your vignette sits at about eye-level; a cascading plant will work well in this space as it will have more impact compared to an upright plant that won’t be easily seen from below.

Start creating your own storyboard by collecting an array of different plants, planters, and other objects which hold meaning to you.

Green-themed? It’s up to you! You can either colour-coordinate and continue using a consistent colour scheme, or you can add a few extra ornaments to create contrast. 


1. Triangles

An ideal theme is to create a soft, symmetrical triangular shape. Do not over-complicate or make the shape too structured as our eyes gently flow over the scene that the shape creates. This is ideal for a relaxed look.

How to create this look:

Place a tall plant with smaller plants on either side, to create the base of your triangle. You can even add a trailing plant to add some texture and to ensure that the shape is not too structured. 

 2. Rule of three 

An uneven number works best when creating a vignette. Odd numbers are more aesthetically pleasing as they are less studied and generate an ‘effortless’ look. 

3. Add some art

This will generate overall height.  A tall and slim plant (ie: mother in laws tongue) will work well as it will naturally lead the eye from the scene towards the art. 

4. Space 

This is one of the most important factors to take into consideration. Try grouping the items altogether with a little layering; you could have some overlapping one another.  The key is to have one item that sits by itself with some breaking room around it. Refrain from placing the item too far away so that it sits by itself, which will make the vignette look disjointed. Rather use the space in a way for the silhouette of the item to be appreciated.

5. Colour

Different colours create different environments and elicit various emotions. Blue and green are perceived as calming, compared to red and yellow which are seen as more stimulating and have more of an alarming feel. Green is in the middle of the colour spectrum and is more neutral. When looking at green, the human eye does not need to visually adjust and the colour is, therefore, more restful. Colours are important to your vignette as you do not want colours to create conflict or clash as they need to resonate with the energy of your space.

Colours that will compliment your green vignette:

  • Neutrals (black, white, greys and browns)
  • Pastels (nude, mint, peach and light blue)
  • Varying shades of terracotta 
  • Note: If your colours are too harsh then the vignette can often become disjointed. 

Adding greenery into your office, work or home space creates the optimum environment.  

Incorporating natural elements are linked to decreased stress, enhanced creativity, and can also assist with recovery from illnesses. The organic shapes of plants in our surroundings can make us feel happy, calm, and relaxed.  Plants also assist with enhanced cognitive skills, memory retention, and concentration - essential for getting things done in the workplace.

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