There was a day that I wouldn't consider using artificial plants. I was a purist, a naturalist and anything but the real thing, was an obvious compromise. My favourite phrase was,
"why buy artificial, when you can have the real thing?"
I was a plant snob, and truthfully, I still am. The difference today, is that although I used that phrase rhetorically in my younger years, my experience in the field of design, staging and photography has exposed some plausible answers for that question, that are undeniably valid. Here are just a few,
1. Cost - Summer blooms come freely from May - September, but that leaves 7 months without. Even the Cedar trees outside take on a grey hue during the Winter. I'll treat myself to a bouquet of fresh tulips in the kitchen now and then but at $8/bunch, it adds up if replacing them weekly, let alone year after year.
2. Availability - I live in Canada, zone 5. We can grow hydrangeas like nobody's business but fresh cut Olives branches are a little out of our reach. Sometimes it's nice to switch things up.
3. Light - a little green in every room is what I like to see - but what if the room is a windowless Powder Room or a bookcase in a hallway? A Pothos may be a great low light plant, but even they need a little light to look their best.
4. Mobility - I can't tell you how many styling shoots I showed up to with a wet crotch. Trying to balance a vase of fresh eucalyptus while turning corners and stopping at lights was a hazard of the trade. - until I found these beautiful Seeded Eucalyptus. Let me just say, the camera doesn't know the difference.
5. Care - I've noticed that the risk of death for plants, increases the further away from my kitchen they are. If they are not in my daily line of sight, they are not in my daily list of To Do's. This doesn't bode well for the plants in the upstairs Bedrooms, yet a nightstand without a flower or plant is a sad thing indeed!
I still believe that the real thing is incomparable, but I also believe that a good quality faux plant has a place in our homes, our photos and our lives. They can be a support system - a back up plan where the real thing has limitations. A way to make our lives a little easier, without having to go without.