Anything Fauxs

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I have just returned from my annual pilgrimage to Christmas World, Europe’s biggest Christmas trade fair. Had I not known where I was, I might have been forgiven for thinking I had stumbled into Europe’s biggest plant fair, such was the dominance of flowers, floristry and foliage, real and artificial.

If you had not already noticed, plants in the home are seriously fashionable right now. It started with foliage plants displayed vertically on green walls, followed by those peculiar upside down pots that allow herbs to be dangled tortuously from the ceiling. Not convinced by these (sorry if you were), we moved on to succulents. Now, all of a sudden, any kind of foliage from filigree to fabulous goes. A rash of excellent books have been published on the subject of using plants in the home, including The Plant Recipe Book by Baylor Chapman, Botanical Style by Selina Lake and In Bloom: Creating and Living with Flowers by Ngoc Minh Ng, all of which I have relished reading this winter and will be delving into for years to come. For me, no room is ever properly habitable without at least one plant and a vase of fresh flowers. And rarely do I stop at one of each.

Artificial plants and stems, Christmas World, January 2017


I have worked with artificial flowers for over 20 years now, from getting my first job in the gift department at John Lewis, to becoming the buyer for artificial flowers fifteen years later, then moving on to Christmas decoration. I have witnessed just how far artificial plants have come in that time. The quality and realism of plants in particular has come on in leaps and bounds, so much so that I have to take a very close look nowadays to distinguish fresh from faux.

Would I buy a faux plant? Yes, actually I might. Whilst I would never consider one under normal circumstances, if I were to have an impossibly dark corner, or an even more peripatetic life than I already do, I would certainly rather have an artificial plant to look at than no plant at all.  From reindeer moss to ravellana, protea to pelargonium, there is almost no plant that can’t be faithfully reproduced in some kind of plastic, foam or rubber.


Kokedama with airplants, succulents and ferns, Christmas World, January 2017


Good artificial plants do not come cheap. They are achingly slow to develop, and laborious and expensive to manufacture. Each plant requires several different materials and processes to make, with leaves, stems and flowers often being painted or by hand. I have seen it done, and it requires time, skill, patience and precision. As with all things, one gets what one pays for. The manufacturers present at Christmas World are in the upper echelons of artificial plant manufacture and so the quality and realism are excellent. Judge for yourself from my snaps.

In my next post –  look away now if you’re squeamish – I reveal the return of the gerbera; bigger, better and bawdier than ever before!


Artificial Christmas flowers and foliage, Christmas World, February 2017






Categories: Floral Art, Flowers, Foliage, Travel

Posted by The Frustrated Gardener

Greetings Garden Lover! Welcome to my blog. Plants are my passion and this is my way of sharing that joyful emotion with the world. You'll find over 1000 posts here featuring everything from abutilons to zinnias. If you've enjoyed what you've read, please leave a comment and consider subscribing using the yellow 'Follow' button in the bottom, right-hand corner of your screen. You will receive an email every time I post something new.

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12 comments On "Anything Fauxs"

  1. I have three succulents in small individual pots on a sunporch coffee table and when one bit the dust just before a party I hurriedly replaced it with a fake…no one has ever noticed!

  2. We’re about to put our house on the market and won’t be living in it while it’s open for inspection. As there’s no way I can be watering any indoor plants around the house or putting vases of fresh flowers about, I’ve turned to the fakes for both foliage and flowers and am astonished (and, I have to admit a little perturbed) at how good they look.

    1. I agree. Nicely arranged and appropriately used they can fool the best of us. And along with the smell of baking bread and freshly brewed coffee, ‘fresh’ flowers are a great way to woo a buyer. I hope you get a generous offer quickly 🙂

  3. As with knick knacks and ornaments, I have a healthy disregard for fake flowers in the home but this post has gone some way to convince me otherwise. I love the look of the kokedama air plants and I’d definitely make room for those aubergines on a christmas tree (real of course!). Will JL be stocking them next year?

    1. Sadly UK food imitation regulations mean you can’t really sell anything that looks edible but isn’t, so I doubt it 🍆🍆. I suppose this does protect us poor innocents from choking on sprouts fashioned from soap, or being poisoned by toxic tomatoes 🍅🍅🍅.

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