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I have been using fake plants in the front of my house. Because the deers seem to like this one area and eat them. Now no problem.
I have used artificial flowers in my hanging baskets on my patio for years! I make planters from children's over alls and the planter stays fresh and new a lot longer with fake flowers than with soil and water in them for real flowers. I live in Tucson and it is nearly impossible to keep flowers fresh and watered enough in the summer. This way I have a colorful display all year and no mess and no hassle!
I have had tons of fun 'changing' fake flowers into even faker ones. Used craft paints, dimensional paints, rarely seen in nature colors. Added polka dots and whatever else I could think of to add to the whimsy. Lots of passers-by asked me what variety of flowers they were. It's much fun.
Rosie in Sugar Hill, GA
I always thought I'd never do the plastic plants thing. We have areas that the sprinkler doesn't reach and those now have the small artificials. The trick is to buy the plants all at the same time, because when you go back to the store, they are usually out of stock and you have to spend time and gas going to 3 other stores just to get 5 more plants.
I love it! I seem to have a "black thumb". No matter how hard I try I just can't garden successfully. I'm going to use this trick for sure.
There is nothing wrong with how Cyinda decorates her garden area! She even mentioned that her neighbors have admired how nice it looks. I'm sure it does. Decent faux ferns are practically indistinguishable from real ones unless you get up close and touch them.
There are many good reasons why people might use this approach. For example, saving on water use with no watering required; physical limitations that don't allow the for demands of real gardening; expense; reusing/recycling artificials rather than buying new every season. And then there are those of us in the country - in the woods, to be specific - who love a beautiful garden but for whom it is a futile effort, as the wildlife will consume everything we plant as fast as it is planted.
I've never considered artificial ferns and greenery to solve my own landscaping issues, but thanks to Cyinda's comment, I will. Sure, we'd all love to have the satisfaction of tending a lovely natural garden. That's just not an option for everyone. If you live near someone who uses artificials which you find offensive to the neighborhood, maybe you could offer to put a garden area in and tend it for them. Everybody wins.
In my last house we had a wrap around country porch. I had hanging baskets between every post. But instead of real flowers I had artificial ones that I had gotten at a local craft store. Vines and greenery. They looked so real that our neighborhood association asked me to be on the committee for doing the flowers at the entrance. I turned them down and revealed my secret. They were shocked that my hanging baskets weren't real. At the end of summer I just cleaned them up a bit, took them in and stored them in my attic. If they were sun faded I replaced them when my local store had a sale. No messing with watering or weather conditions.
When the blooms are no longer good, pull off the blooms and keep the leaves to use as fillers with your new plants.
In a patio garden, with mostly green plants, I have put in some artificial flowers here & there for color. But remember plants give us their lungs, too and help clean the air - so don't neglect the real greenery - Most of it is so easy to maintain, too - Succulents are practically care free - and most others only need occasional watering.
Back in the day, when I lived on an AFB in MS, I had a neighbor that was consistently winning "yard of the month". Embellishing everything from climbing roses to year round petunias was her 'secret' too!
I would never think of using fake flowers outside. The smell of the real flowers and watching them develope cannot be replaced or substituted with fake. However, I do use them at the cemetary to prevent having to go back to water live plants.
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