What does solitaire mean in garden architecture?
The word "solitaire" derives from French and means "solitary" or "loner". In the case of plants, one speaks of solitary plants when they are suitable for a solitary position or visually dominate a planting due to a special growth form, growth height, leaf coloration or flowers.
Which solitary plants are there?
The term solitary plant is not tied to a specific plant or plant species. Solitary plants can be found in all plant genera. Trees (hardwood and coniferous), perennials, shrubs, but also grasses are suitable for this purpose: Planted individually as well as positioned center-stage in a planting, from which they visually stand out and impress with size, leaf shape or coloration. When selecting plants, however, the intended location, e.g., in the garden, play a decisive role. Thus, among other things, it must be taken into account whether the intended position is sunny or if the solitary shrubs, bushes or specimen trees have to be winter-hardy.
Where to find solitary plants?
Park, garden, front garden, terrace or balcony – depending on the location, there is a suitable type of tree, a fitting woody plant, ornamental grass or a shrub that stands out as a solitary plant. While in a large park, old trees possessing extraordinary charisma due to special flowers or their growth height often stand out as a solitary tree, usually much smaller trees find their use in private gardens. Solitaire shrubs, bushes and ornamental grasses with special growth forms, leaves or flowering spike stands to convince both in large gardens as well as in smaller gardens depending merely on their expressiveness.
Not only garden plants can be used as solitaires, but also for your own four walls a suitable plant can be found to enhance the ambiance. Whether flowering or simply green, with bushy or tree-like growth – for every room size and every furnishing style, a personal indoor plant as a highlight can be found in the right size and color to create a feel-good atmosphere. Thus, if the general conditions, e.g., care requirements, location and lighting conditions, do not allow for real plants, you still do not have to do without solitary plants.
Modern artificial plants can be used here, which not only look confusingly similar to their natural models at first glance. They convince visually and haptically as an ideal low-maintenance alternative. The selection ranges from deceptively real individual trees with or without blossoms to evergreen solitary shrubs and ornamental grasses with flowering spikes. The care requirements for artificial plants are limited to occasional dusting – so even without a "green thumb" nothing stands in the way of using a solitary plant as a houseplant or in a protected outdoor area.