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Quick, long-lasting centerpiece: a living basket.

Quick, long-lasting centerpiece: a living basket Assembled in minutes for indoor decorating, this lush basket can brighten a table and offer indoor cheer for months on end.

Just choose a low basket (the bread basket pictured here is 20 inches long, about 8 inches wide, and 4 inches high), line it with plastic (a garbage bag cut to fit will do), and fill it with several 2- to 4-inch plants. Choose some flowering and some foliage plants. The result is a long-lasting, easy-to-maintain centerpiece.

You'll want to keep a few design basics in mind. Place tall flowering plants (moth orchids were used here), growing in pots, in the center of the basket. Smaller foliage plants, removed from their containers and inserted (with their soil) into plastic sandwich bags, can be squeezed in around the central plants. If you like, put loose sponge rock underneath to make them appear taller.

Trailing plants, such as small-leafed ivy, can go around the edges of the basket to soften the look. For added interest, choose plants with a variety of leaf textures, colors, and forms.

To water, unzip the plastic sandwich bags and pour in a little water from a narrow-spouted can; reseal bag to base of plant.

To maintain the arrangement, rotate the flowering plants according to their bloom season; feed them regularly. Check nurseries and florists for plants in bloom now: African violets, cineraria, cyclamen, and English primrose should be available. Replace the small foliage plants as necessary; 2-inch pots cost about $1 each.
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jan 1, 1990
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