Wednesday 31 January 2018

plants for the black of thumb

great faux plants

Plants are absolutely my favourite things when it comes to home decor, hands down. There really isn't a decor problem that can't be solved by adding a leafy friend.

Want to add natural texture to a room?


Need a pop of colour and not sure how to bring it in?


Not confident of your decorating ability but want to add some drama?


Running low on oxygen?


They're basically the coconut oil of the decor world. 

There isn't a room in my house that doesn't have greenery in it, but up until recently that wasn't the case.


Well, while the back of my house gets plenty of light the front can be a bit of a dungeon, especially with the delightful Irish weather, which, in case you didn't know, is dark and dreary most of the time and over the winter the sun doesn't rise until after 8.30 and sets before 4.30 so we don't even have time to absorb whatever tiny bit of light is available to us!

I start feeling like one of those pale, cave dwelling newts somewhere around mid January.

Image result for cave dwelling salamander
Actual photo of me on the school run last week.

So, obviously there are parts of my house that turn into a plant graveyard soon after I try to introduce new greenery into them. Not a good look. So I searched for plants that were hardy and didn't need a lot of light, and I had some success with the likes of certain succulents, a zz plant (I had to go and research what this one was called) and an umbrella plant, all of which I have found to be incredibly tough and resistant to the neglect I subject them to. What I need are masochist plants, plants that are ok with being ignored, plants with issues!

great faux plants

That's a ZZ by the toilet, I found it in Homebase for €10 and it seems to be essentially un-killable. The umbrella plant on the top shelf was less than a fiver in Tesco and not only has not died on me, but is now at least five times the size it was when I bought it. Every now and again when I've been particularly lax in my plant-raising duties it looks a bit sad and droopy, but some water perks it right back up.

Finding these was totally hit and miss, I pick up plants when I see something I like the look of that isn't expensive, and basically it's survival of the fittest around here. My plants get watered once a week (I set an alarm on my phone), and every now and again I pull off dead leaves. That's it. I'm trying to keep three kids alive and even they do a fair amount of scavenging , so anything else around here is basically on it's own!

Now, while these plants are great, and I suppose I could just buy more of the same, that's not really what I want. I want variety. I want big plants, tiny plants, trailing plants and those tall twigs that posh people have in their hallways. So, after saying goodbye to many a pretty maidenhair fern that just couldn't hack it, I did something I had never considered before...and bought some fake ones. 

great faux plants
Fern in marble pot €8 Penney's

great faux plants
These little guys were €2.50 each in Penney's. Love them.
great faux plants
My attempt at a grown up persons hallway.

I had always thought of fake greenery as being really plasticy and obvious, but it turns out that it's come a long way since I last looked at it. I picked up some eucalyptus stems in The Range for €2.95 each and they're currently adding some height to my hall table. I also got a really good faux fern in a lovely marble effect pot and a succulent in a white glass container in Penney's for €8 and €2 respectively and these are both bringing a bit of "life" to my en-suite as it's one of the darkest places in the house and really can't support much in the way of real greenery.

great faux plants

I'm really happy my little fake friends now! I mean, would I prefer to have beautiful real plants on every surface? Of course I would. I'd also love to be massively rich and have kids that don't think it's hilarious to fart on me but sometimes you just have to accept your limitations and work with what you have! And for now, these plants are a great addition to my decor. How do you feel about artificial plants? Do you have any recommendations for real plants that might be able to survive me? I'd love to hear your suggestions ;)