Save watering cost with drought friendly silk plants. Last week I planted many different types of artificial plants in my outdoor flower-bed and it looks great. I bought a bunch of silk ferns at Dollar Tree last year. Since my neighbors thought they were real and they weathered the winter rain and last year's sunshine so well, I decided to buy more. This year I also bought a dozen plastic "grass tufts", they are silver in color like dusty millers and I stuck them in between the rock edging. These make the whole plant-bed look so nice, kind of like a "rock garden".
Last spring I also added fake flowers in the bed, but I've found that with just plants and no flowers I can leave the flower-bed like this all year long because it's not the least bit "seasonal". But if you want color and you do decide to add silk flowers to your flower-beds, (and want your neighbors to think your flowers are real), you'll have to change your "display" every few months, when the flowers you've "planted" go out of season. If you want an artificial garden that will fool your neighbors, be sure to plant several real bushes and plants along with the artificial ones. This adds to the illusion.
Another trick is to buy many different types and textures of plants and to buy many different shades of greenery. This will keep your "fake garden" looking real. Variegated type leaves and leaves in several colors look the most real, even from close up. It's also best to buy plants that grow natively in your area. In Western WA, we have many ferns that grow in the wild, so I plant mostly ferns in my plant-bed and also add several other textures and colors of plants. My artificial plants and flowers not only cost less than buying annuals each year, but I can continue to use them year after year.
When fall comes, I leave the greenery planted, but take the flowers out and give them a good shaking (to remove the dirt and dust) then store them away for next year's use. Sometimes you'll have to swish them upside down in a pail of soapy water to remove the stubborn dirt, but shaking is usually sufficient.
I especially love how easy it is to weed artificial plant-beds. All you do is remove the silk plant, then weed the area, then stick the plant right back in. That's the ticket, quick and easy! And, making weeding easier always makes my day! I'm no gardener and I'm certainly not what you'd call a green thumb, but this is one kind of garden even I can't kill! And while out walking their dogs, my neighbors have told me how nice it looks, so I'm positive they think it's real too!
By Cyinda from near Seattle