How to embrace the fashion for real and faux plants and flowers. Sharon Dale reports
The last big fashion moment for houseplants and flowers was in the 1970s when no stylish home was complete without cheese plants, weeping figs and fresh lilies.
Now, after a slow and steady uptake, the trend is back but this time real plants are competing with clever fakes.
Instagram sensation Pandora Maxton, an interiors enthusiast whose home is set to feature in the Yorkshire Post magazine, has a house full of greenery from succulents to spider plants and palms.
Most of them are real but, after spending a large amount of time tending, watering and spraying the living greenery already in residence, she has started to introduce a few faux plants.
I took the test to see if I could spot the plastic intruders and failed.
“I wouldn’t want all fake plants because the real ones really add something special to a home but I now think it’s fine to add a few fakes,” says Pandora, who recommends Botanic on Walmgate, York, for interesting real houseplants.
If your track record in keeping real plants alive is poor then go for the easiest ones to care for.
Aloe Vera are virtually indestructible and look pretty cool, as do most succulents.
Mother in Law’s Tongue, aka Sansevieria, is tough and doesn’t like too much watering, which is helpful if you are prone to forget.
The Aspidistra is also a survivor and can stand bright spots and shady ones with little water.
The larger weeping fig is happy to be watered once a week as is the Jade plant. This is also known as the money plant, often seen in oriental restaurants and takeaways.
These plants are used in feng shui thanks to their good energy and are said to grow your bank balance.
For faux plants, check out Abigail Ahern’s website, www.abigail ahern.com. Oka, which has a store in Harrogate, stocks beautiful artificial flowers and also has a step-by-step guide to faux flower arranging on its website, www.oka.com. Home Sense also has a selection of artificial plants and flowers, as do Ikea and Sainsbury’s.
If you are crafty, then Suzi McClaughlin’s new book, “The Paper Florist”, is a real treat.
It is published by Kyle Books at £18.99 and Suzi shows the reader how to make inexpensive flowers from paper.
There are “how to” guides on crafting everything from bluebells, roses and cherry blossom to peonies and poppies.
You don’t need many specialist tools, just a glue gun, scissors and some wire cutters and pliers.
The flowers are beautiful and can sit in a vase or used as gift toppers, cake decorations and buttonholes.