It is cheaper to use artificial flowers & plants than real plants. They always look good and no watering! And they can be used for several years depending on conditions.
I LOVE the $1.00 Store! I get flowers and pots there, hanging baskets and liners, styrofoam, and Spanish moss. I cluster a few bushes together and cut the stems to fit the pot with a wire cutter and cut the styrofoam block to fit and place in the pot.
Next, after pushing the stems in, I fill the pot for weight with river rocks I get from the $1.00 Store too. I top it off with the Spanish moss. A ribbon from there can be tied around it for a special touch depending upon the pot style.
I take something that took maybe $3-5 or less to make and it turns out looking like something someone would easily buy at a craft or department store for $20-45, depending on the quality, size, and presentation.
They make great indoor decorations all year or great porch or patio additions. Your neighbors will be wondering how you keep them so nice if you don't spend the time watering them!
Incidentally, years ago when a restaurant was closing, my parents bought their fake plastic hanging ferns. Really, their brown thumb is so bad it's almost a neighborhood joke, even when they were younger and tried. Only when I took up gardening there as an adult after having had to move back for a couple years did their yard look really nice with gardens after years of weedy neglect. Now that I no longer live there, it's reverting back to where it was slowly. My Dad just works all the time and my Mom is sickly now.
My Dad hung the fake ferns up along the eaves on the front of the house and they were in really nice brass pots. The plants were nice and full and from a couple feet away they looked completely real. The neighbors sure got fooled and to go along with it, my Dad took the garden hose and proceeded to water them all summer long!
Eventually he told everyone what he had been doing and that they were fakes, but it was fun all summer getting all those compliments! Boy did everyone have a big laugh!
Have a great day!
Try using clippings from your indoor plants in your hanging baskets outside. One that works particularly well is a Wandering Jew. The more sun, the more purple it gets and can take a lot of hot sun and still look beautful! And if you forget to water it for a week, it's very forgiving.