I love the look of boxwood and ivy topiary in my projects but unfortunately indoor lighting conditions don’t suit those plants. Further, topiary are expensive and replacing them every time they die isn’t practical. I came up with a solution that I think will appeal to even anti-faux plant people.
What I’ve learned is mixing real plants, the ones that you know work in your home, with faux boxwood creates a kind of smoke and mirrors. People see and feel the real plants and an assumption is made that the others are real by association.
I recently redecorated my own entry and living room which you can see in the pictures below. Since I want my house to look good all the time I have built in a little system for having continuously good looking floral and plants.
I intermingle live plants such as creeping fig and reindeer fern in decorative jardinieres with faux boxwood and faux rosemary in beautifully crafted clay pots. It’s particularly effective if the live ones are near the entry to the room. This builds a “precedence”.
Incorporating dried plants and wreaths is another little trick I’ve learned. I love dried eucalyptus, bay, and boxwood like the wreath in my entry above.
Faux plants have a bad reputation because the quality was poor for so many years. Today’s faux plants are different than Grandmother’s. Manufacturer’s often use real wood in topiary. The foliage looks imperfect and inconsistent just like in nature.
Another little system I created is with fresh floral. I have placed several beautiful vases with faux hyacinth, faux hydrangea, and faux pomegranate branches throughout my home. When I entertain, I simply swap the faux floral with fresh ones from my garden such as lilac, roses, daffodils, and tulips.
Good looking faux topiary and floral arrangements are not easy to come by, nor are they inexpensive. For this reason many stores don’t keep them stocked. They were a regular feature at my store S.S.HOME. I have found a wonderful, tiny store in Oakdale, California that carries all shapes and sizes of faux topiary like the ones seen above.
The green pot above came from there and it’s called Alexandra’s Home and Garden. The other turquoise pots came from a store around the corner from Alexandra’s called I Love Paris. And the big, beautiful dried wreath came from Fleur de Lis in Modesto, California. Alex, Ruth, and Eleanor have been doing retail for years and each of them have developed very pleasing retail styles.
This trophy vase embellished with lion engravings and lion medallion handles is loosely filled with a boxwood garland.
Fresh potted creeping fig in a Portmerion bowl I picked up on a trip through Wales. Portmerion is available at better china stores. Sometimes you can find it piecemeal at TJ Maxx.
1-7 1/2″ potted boxwood, set of 2 $12.85 and $10.85; 2-double 16″ boxwood in red clay pot $31; 3-Set of 3 spindly boxwood in flared pots $82 per set; 4-boxwood wreath with ribbon 9 1/2″ diameter $31; 5-double boxwood topiary 40″ $314 (regularly $418); 6-20″ boxwood wreath $53; 7-triple boxwood 60″ $410 (regularly $682). All plants available through Shiree Segerstrom Interior Design.