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Old 10-26-2016, 01:46 PM
roxrgneiss roxrgneiss is offline
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Default Re: Vivarium Design vol 1: Plant Selection

Hey all,

Just want to say 'Thanks!' to those who are following this and appreciate what I'm trying to do. If I get some time, I might try to edit all this and convert it into a pdf. In hindsight, it probably would have been better to work on it that way from the beginning.

Angles can be dealt with in vol 2, since that is really bridging into another topic.

So, now the final plant-related topic will be addressed - color and texture. This is pretty basic, and is really a matter of preference, but there is some logic that can be applied. Like anything good, some moderation is important. For example, using only plants with striking colors or heavily textured plants would create quite an interesting display for sure. It has been done before, and you'll find examples of this if you look around enough. Some textured plants help break up the monotony of a scene, making it less bland, like the way a typical (dissected frond) fern is completely different from the typical smooth leaf of a bromeliad or philodendron. This difference in texture adds interests and complexity to the overall view, much the same way a splash of different color, such as red, purple, or silver, can become a great focal point or accent. Flowers have a similar, but temporary affect. I think of it as adding spice to a dish; too much and it overpowers the objective, but at least the plants can be removed! Reviewing photos of natural habitats is a great way to get some perspective on what a rainforest is like and just how much they can vary in appearance, but at some point creativity and the availability of resources comes into play and you do the best you can.

For some, the object may be to reproduce a specific jungle in a specific part of the world, as closely as possible, others may want something that just looks natural, and many people are just interested in keeping the plants they bought alive. So, there are many ways to select plants, and many ways to arrange them. With the application of a little logic, some creative imitation of the natural world is possible, especially since plants are a part of that and help breath life into the unnatural components of the vivarium. Personally, I see the hardscape as a blank canvas, and the plants are like living paint that really makes it an evolving work of art. Look at it how you like and enjoy!

Below are some photos of more pronounced plant leaf textures and a few natural settings.

Anthurium clidemioides:

Pilea involucrata:

Begonia crispula:

Unless I missed something important here or unless there are some comments, this will conclude vol 1.


Last edited by roxrgneiss; 10-26-2016 at 02:18 PM.
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