The UK seems to have a love-hate relationship with fake flowers, and following today’s ITV This Morning feature about ‘faking it in the garden’, I felt we should explore why people fake it, and how they do it!
‘Would you rather see a garden full of weeds growing through a mattress, propped up against a 1987 Ford Fiesta, or a garden with some cheerful flowers, albeit made of plastic…?
Many people are scared to garden, we have to admit that, and help to ease them into it. Most of the time gardening comes across as complicated and unachievable, and is certainly nigh on impossible for the disabled and elderly without some sort of help. With a ‘faux garden’, you can boost their mental health with the visual joy of that happy outdoor space.
In a fast-moving TV segment like today’s, it can be hard to get every sentiment across clearly, however. Our piece on ‘faux gardens’ was aimed to encourage people to get comfortable with the idea of having a ‘plant presence’ in their gardens rather than awful concrete. This message is delivered with the hope that they’ll move on to real plants at some point, which of course are essential for wildlife and our endangered bees. At the very least, we would hope to encourage people to experiment with a blend of real and fake.
We also suggested that using faux plants can be a ‘halfway house’. So, if you’re impatient waiting for a real climber to cover a fence or wall and need the security of privacy, you can get a head start with some faux stems. Not everyone lives in an area where they feel save or protected in their home, sadly.
Faux gardens offer a degree of practicality too. Gardens where children play can be made much safer with a share of faux plants, taking the worry of poisonous and dangerous plants away from parents. Pets are often at risk in the garden too. Avoid that, and muddy paw-prints, with a faux garden.
When looking to attract wildlife however, it’s possible to embrace growing your wildflowers in patio containers. This growing method fits in with the way that people want- and need- to garden.
The faux ideas weren’t only plants either, we featured lightweight containers and statues, which are much easier for the elderly and less able to move around. Likewise, we injected a bit of fun with EasiGrass Animals, which can be a real wow factor for larger gardens, and were everyone’s favourite at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show!
Many people actually become genuinely stressed about maintaining their outdoor space, and I’ve seen this many times. When there are so many pressures in life already, and our homes are meant to be our escape haven, we need an effective solution. Let’s try and make our surroundings as easy to manage as possible, whilst still remaining wildlife-friendly.
My overall advice is to embrace some faux elements into your garden if you’d like, but to always keep wildlife in mind. A garden isn’t a garden without the visiting birds, floaty butterflies, buzzing bees or cute hedgehogs!
There’s a whole wealth of advice on creating a wildlife haven on the RHS website, click here to start attracting wildlife today! I’d also be keen to hear from readers who use faux elements in their garden, and why. More importantly, I’d love to learn more from anyone who has blended faux and real in order to appeal to wildlife, but keep the labour to a sensible minimum. Please leave a comment.