Jul 20, 2016

How to Have Charming Farmhouse Greenery Without a Green Thumb

Hello! I hope everyone is having a great summer! 

We've been living it easy around here this summer; hiking in the mountains, kayaking in a new nearby water park, lazy afternoons reading on the front porch, and lots of casual family dinners on the deck surrounded by our garden in full summer bloom. 

Our summer garden shed this year.
Gardening outdoors comes pretty easily to me. Plant, water, fertilize, sunshine, and voila - success! Houseplants, however, are a completely different matter. I'm abysmal at growing houseplants! No matter how hard I try, and I've been trying most of my life, my houseplants die within a few months. Partly, I think, because my house has very little natural light and partly because I can never get the watering schedule right. 

For years I just didn't have houseplants at all. This pathos plant started last year from a cutting (above) and this little succulent which was a Father's Day gift for my husband this year (below) are the only ones I've been able to keep alive. (I've heard they're bulletproof.)

Finally, a few years ago I gave up trying to grow my own houseplants and slowly started buying seasonal realistic-looking fake plants at craft stores when they came on sale and with coupons. I loved how easy they were to care for, as in no care at all!  After it dawned on me that cut flowers from the store and even those cut from my own garden would wilt and drop their pedals in just a few days inside in our hot dry climate, I started buying fake flowers, too. This summer I realized I have collected a houseful of them over the past few years, and I thought I'd share them with those of you who are also lacking a green thumb or live in a hot dry climate but yearn for the charm of houseplants and cut flowers.  

My collection of faux plants and flowers would complement any home for summer, but what makes them work especially well with my farmhouse decor are rustic farmhouse containers and vignettes like this wood toolbox with green mason jars.  

A plastic boxwood wreath paired with a collection of thrift store vases and my DIY rustic pedestal filled with lemons. 

Faux hydrangeas nestled in a DIY wood crate made out of weathered fence pickets.

Plastic succulent stems perched in milk jars and a primitive chickenwire basket from the craft store. 

A huge faux fern spilling over a vintage olive bucket. 

White lilies in a knobby green vase from Anthropologie.

Plastic heather tucked into a vintage copper cup. Who'd have thought a plastic plant could look so real? I'm convinced!

A mason jar of white tulips (too pretty just for spring.)

And my favorite, an enormous bouquet of faux wildflowers in a heavy French crock framed by my large black chalkboard.

After years of watering, pinching, picking up dead leaves, and the discouragement of watching my houseplants die in spite of my best efforts, I'm loving my faux plants. And no more expensive fresh flowers fading and wilting in just a few days in our hot dry summer climate. Mine last forever!  

Realistic faux plants and flowers are a sensible home decor investment and a wonderful way for us green thumb-challenged folks to bring the charm of greenery into our homes. 

I'm so glad you popped in to see what's going on with me today.

 Have an awesome summer day!

How about a summer party!

The Scoop
Savvy Southern Style
Between Naps On The Porch
Our Home Away From Home
A Stroll Thru Life
Share Your Style
Share Your Cup
Rooted In Thyme
The Charm of Home
Rattlebridge Farm
French Country Cottage
Craftberry Bush
The Cottage Market
Sundays at Home
DIY Showoff


  1. I've missed you, and have been hoping all was well ~

    Your inside plants are adorable ~ and SO easy to care for!

  2. I've missed you, too. I decorate inside with artificial flowers, also. You can always count on them, that's for sure. Your outdoor flowers are lovely--gorgeous roses on your trellis.

  3. It is good to see you posting, Laurel!I am glad to hear you are enjoying your summer. Around here it get so hot that keeping up with real plants ans flowers is a huge job. I do use faux flowers and greenery to decorate our home. Nowadays they look so real. Enjoy your day. Maria

  4. Hello Laurel, it's nice to hear from you! It sounds like you are having a wonderful Summer! I use faux flowers inside as well...I don't have to worry about the pets getting into them and as you said, no picking up dead leaves, petals, etc. I love how artificial ones look so real! Your outside gardens sure look pretty!

  5. Your faux plants look lovely. My favorite is the Boston fern. I mostly have the same problem, no green thumb for me. Another place I like for faux plants is Ikea. If you don't have one nearby, they deliver for a reasonable cost. They are my best plants. I even use them outdoors.
    Great post, thank you.

  6. Yes, I've missed you as well! I know how to take care of houseplants for the most part. But living here I've had a terrible problem with gnats getting in them, which terrifies the dogs for some reason. So every summer mine have gone out on the patio and I end up losing some. So I've been looking for realistic looking faux plants myself. I looked at the hydrangeas one day at Michaels, but didn't have a coupon and those things are so expensive! I'll keep looking. I love that last one too. Where did you get them?

  7. Very pretty Laurel! The faux plants now days are so much prettier than they ever were. Sounds like you are having a fun summer and your garden is lovely! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  8. Oh, I am sooo impressed with your beautiful flowers and plants that require NO water, NO constant care, NO...NUTHIN' I am on my way to see if I can find a beautiful faux boxwood wreath just like yours...hope I can...and I am now following you thru email...

  9. No watering, no fus or dirt in the house. Good silks are a great way to add greenery. Loved the pic's you showed us. That crab bucket is gorgeous with the fern inside it.

  10. I felt that you wrote this specifically for me Lauren! LOL! Fantastic ideas, thank you!

  11. Hi Laurel......nice to see you posting. Once upon a time in N.H. I had a wonderful south facing bay wall in the livingroom that was 9' wide (this was only half the wall). Hubby had remodeled a basement (he was a contractor) and brought home the 2' cutoffs of tongue and groove pine. He built me a lovely window seat with a hinged top that held all our Christmas decorations but the seat itself became my indoor nursery. Everything grew! 2 brass pulleys held large hanging spider plants and there was a jade plant that I purchased for .39 when Woolworth's closed up shop in the 70s (?). It grew so large we had to put it on a plant dolly to move it out to the screened porch in the summer. 20ish years later we moved it here to Florida and it still lives in the ground next to the lanai. Over the years I have developed allergies and can no longer have live plants indoors. A few silk flowers now and then but too many just looked fake. Enter Ikea and their artificial plants. Gorgeous! Now I have lovely houseplants again and people comment that my thumb is still very green. Unless they actually touch the plants, I just smile.

  12. Sometimes I question the money I spend on flowers only to have them die a few days later. I have taken to buying plants and keeping them in the house for a week and then planting them.

    I absolutely love the bouquet in the beautiful yellow container.

  13. Great ideas Laurel! Thank you for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  14. Hi Laurel! In love with your summer garden shed!! I thought that I as dong good. I had two ferns since the spring that grew HUGE! I was excited to bring them with us when we moved. Sadly within one day of bringing them to the rental they started dying on me for no reason. I am so sad!:( I am trying to save um and have trimmed the dead off but I do not think they will recover.

  15. Your plants are looking beautiful ♥


  16. Hahaha! I do that a lot too Laurel!!!!!! I even do it with a lot of flowers! I know Faux-is-a-no-no mantra in the design world, but I believe too that if it makes YOU happy and it looks good, GO FOR IT! Glad I'm not alone in this!


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