The one thing I noticed about living in flats is how quickly you can become detached from nature. I am a bit of a funny creature who loves to live in the ever busy London, with all its grime, concrete and reflective glass but too long without the green stuff and I get a bit stir crazy. Growing up in an outdoor country has meant that my subconscious expects walks through parks, traipsing barefoot in the backyard and taking a road trip with my sister to the beach.
Through trial and error I’ve combated my lack of plant life in a few different ways. Faux grass on my balconies is where it all started. This works really well and does trick the brain into thinking you have some sort of backyard space. Faux grass is the easiest and cheapest entry point with plenty of realistic options available. I prefer to chose one that has longer ‘grass’ and some colour variation for a more realistic view.
I’ve bought real plants and nurtured them inside for years. This has worked well when my flat is well insulated and the neighbours run their heat during the day. Oh to be back in the flat where we had to open windows in winter because we were too hot!
In my current flat everything went well until winter set in. My heating is fantastic and the flat is warm within minutes of arriving home. The drawback is that plants that are fashionable at the moment are tropical and a day without heat saw most of them perish overnight. So long fiddle leaf fig, sayonara cactus, auf wiedersehen succulents, all five of you!
I am now a convert to the dark side or the faux side! Word to the wise not every faux plant is the same and even within a companies range, there might only be two or three that pass as real. It will take you a little research to find something of good quality. And then you may fall off your chair when you see the price point! Play the long game and keep watch for sales or discount codes. I have never paid full price for my faux.
My most recent purchase is Gilbert. He is a handsome Monsterea plant from Cox and Cox. I am ignoring the environmental issues as he is a huge blob of plastic as he has brought me so much joy. It really feels like I have a large plant in my house without any of the headspace worry to look after him.
One thing no one ever mentions with these larger faux plants is the smell. Gilbert had a factory chemical smell for a good couple of months and I’m glad I bought him over a time where my flat windows could be open. I expect the smell would be headache inducing in winter months or in a smaller flat.
In my search for Gilbert I came across a number of faux plants and flowers that are beautiful and real looking. A selection is below. I am considering purchasing a potted faux aloe for another spot in my flat where my cactus recently passed away. My beautiful plant stand that is begging to be used again.
What plants are you bringing into your home? Faux or real? PF xo