Sunday, 6 November 2011

Aquatic plants for the front entryway

One of the big design challenges that I'm facing is bringing a feeling of light and life to the front entryway to our unit.  It has no natural light whatsoever.  (The stairway running from it to the second floor gets filtered light.)  I knew the lack-of-light issue was going to be a tricky challenge when we were laying out the locations for each unit's entry and all the stairs in the building.  Since our entry is in the middle of the back wall of the building, the only way to have avoided the problem would have been by putting in a transom window above the doors to our unit (thereby reducing their dramatic height) or putting in a pair of sidelights next to a single door (no room then for a double and the sidelights would have had to be frosted or sheer-curtained anyway for privacy from the street and common area).  But I really wanted French doors and I really wanted the doors to be "secret", so glass around them was out.  It was a tough call at the time, but I traded off on the natural light in order to get better doors to our unit and a better common entry.  I don't regret the decision -at least not yet- but it has made it challenging for me to give our unit's entry the energy I'd like it to have.

These photos pretty much sum out how I want the area to feel:

Of course, water lilies want as much light as possible, so there aren't going to be any actual lilies involved.  What I am going to experiment with, however, are some other (low light) pond plants, together with lots of glassware and reflective surfaces (probably mercury glass as opposed to mirror).  I have no idea, though, if even a low light pond plant will tolerate the conditions in the front entryway.  So after much research, I ordered three different shady types to try out.   Meet salvinia:


And water lettuce:

I am super-excited about their arrival and keep checking my email to see if my order has shipped yet.  Fingers crossed they ship very soon and don't die a slow and lingering death at the RBB!

(My back-up green plan right now, if the pond plants do decline, are various sizes of moss ball. 

But so much less interesting!)

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