Fantastic Mr Faux Plants. How to Stay Green.
Since posting the living room reveal last week (see it here), I’ve had a few people asking about the plants and greenery I have scattered around the room. One question that has cropped up a couple of times is “do you have any tips on keeping plants alive?”
Well, yes I do!
I’ve found, repeatedly, over a number of years, that following these 6 simple steps will guarantee that your greenery looks lush all year round;
- Place plant in well drained soil in a position recommended for the plant type.
- Water/feed according to instructions.
- Watch as it slowly withers, even though you followed the instructions to the fucking letter.
- Try moving it, in the vain hope that it might help.
- Bin it
- Buy a fake plant.
In case the penny hasn’t dropped, nearly all of my plants are fake. Sorry, faux.
There was a time that artificial plants were considered tacky. You had the ‘plasticy’ kind that you would find in cheap hotels and greasy spoon cafes, and the silk kind; the sort you would find at your granny’s house; think pink silk roses and peach carnations, fanning out the back of a plastic swan. That kind of thing.
Times have changed.
‘Faux’ Is The New ‘Fake’.
Advances in technology have resulted in artificial plants, foliage and flowers looking more realistic than ever before. A clever rebranding of these products, championed by the designer Abigail Ahern, has launched ‘faux botanicals’ into the 21st Century.
Honestly, they’re not shit anymore!
To be fair, it’s still very easy to get wrong. Especially as many of you will be relying on the internet to source your fakery (fauxery?). So, I have compiled a few of my favourite faux plants, flowers and foliage… mostly within a reasonable price range! Remember though, unlike real living things, you will have these forEVER. In my opinion, it’s totally worth spending a wee bit more for better quality. I’ve included some of the plants that I own myself.
I actually have a few of these Meadow Horsetail bunches (£11.00 each, Abigail Ahern) in the living room. Really nice on higher shelves, spilling out of vases and urns.
Another Abigail Ahern product that I love is the Evergreen Berry, £17.00. One branch is enough and looks really realistic. Normally branches tend to look quite fake, but this one doesn’t. Styled here whilst doing some kitchen planning…
The Natural Eucalyptus Spray, £6.50, Rose and Grey, via Notonthehighstreet, is really realistic. I have some of these, but I’ve mixed them up with a couple of stems from Bloom so that there is more variation, further tricking the eye into thinking they’re real. These are £10.00 each, but there is usually some kind of offer on.
Palm Seed Stem
I’ve literally just spotted this Palm Seed Stem on Bloom.uk.com, reduced to £5.00. I want it. Now. This would look great trailing out of a vase, either on it’s own, or from around foliage.
I have this Pilea Plant from Bloom. It is brilliant. What’s even better, is that it is reduced from £39.00 to £19.00. To be quite honest, standing at 60cm, even at it’s original price, it would have been totally worth it. Even right up close, it looks great!
If you’re looking for something a bit bigger, to make that bit more of a statement, you wouldn’t go wrong with the Potted Philodendron, again from Bloom. At £59.00, it’s a bit pricier, but it has been reduced from £99.00! And it is 80cm tall, so it’s a good size for a floor standing plant.
These Protea Stems from Lime Tree London, look really convincing. At £16.50 each, they ain’t cheap… but if you did splash out, they would look great on their own or nestled amongst some foliage.
Bishop’s Lace in cream, from Abigail Ahern, £12.00, is a nice textural addition and is also available in Burgundy. At 1m tall, you would have a lot of options as to how you want to display these.
This is the Artificial Succulent seen in my magazine table makeover (see it here) which was a chance find on ebay. You wouldn’t want to be in a hurry for it though as it has to make it’s way from China. At £1.21 though, it’s worth the wait. I would order 3 at the least, for it to make any impact.
Here’s a wee tip for you; if you still really want real flowers, buy three single stem flowers of your choice and some foliage e.g Eucalyptus. Add in to this some garden or supermarket flowers. You’ll have an expensive looking display that can be easily and cheaply replaced when the real ones die. If you don’t replace them, you’ll still have a vase full of lush green foliage. Check my coffee table pic below. All ‘faux’! I’ll add in some real hydrangeas or some honeysuckle when they start flowering.
Most of what has been included on these lists are pretty damn close to the real thing. Of course if you press the thing right up to your eyeballs, you’re gonna be able to tell… would you do that with a real plant though? No. Probably not.
I’m pretty fussy when it comes to realistic fakery, so I’ve tried to compile this list looking at only the best of the products (in my opinion). I really wanted to add in some of the succulents that have been appearing in my photographs throughout Instagram and the blog, but they seem to be unavailable at the moment. For future reference, they were from Abigail Ahern. Maybe worth keeping an eye open for their return.
I would also recommend having a look round your local garden centres. There are a couple in Scotland (Raemoir in Banchory and Glendoick, Dundee) that I know have a lot of good artificial’s that are very reasonably priced. If anyone out there knows of any others, I would love to hear from you.