Text by Amanda Sims, AD Clever
This spring, we made a decisive—and possibly divisive—call: Artificial flowers are getting kind of cute. Well, it turns out the same goes for faux greenery, which should very much be on your mind if you’re considering tricking out your apartment in such a way that it resembles the depths of a Narnian forest. Fresh greenery is, of course, wondrous, but the fake stuff has extremely practical upsides: It lasts, well, a whole lot longer than the real stuff (which means no sea of pine needles littering your floor!). The really good quality pieces will retain their zest year after year. Plus, going faux is safer for anyone with snacking pets and/or sensitive allergies that aren’t exactly jazzed when freshly clipped pine is brought into the room.
The only downside, until recently, was that most faux greenery looked fake. Well, not anymore. We caught up with Ana Verdi, a designer at luxe kitchen brand Plain English, about where to shop for artificial greenery that actually looks real. One of the best tips she imparted is, if allergies aren’t your issue, to consider preserved greenery, which is actually the real stuff frozen in time at its most youthful moment. The greens stay green, the texture stays textured, and if stored properly—gently, basically—it’ll look good year after year. Ana also recommends blending live, preserved, and dried for more vibrant-looking arrangements. Here are her top six sources for high-quality faux and preserved greenery, so you can start decking your halls a little more sensibly this year.
This beloved garden store’s Winter Shop has faux, dried, preserved (and even fresh) garlands, wreaths, and Christmas trees—and an extensive inventory, with quirky berry branches and greens you’ve definitely never heard of. Nobody would ever guess this stuff isn’t the real deal. Make arrangements out of the faux magnolia and faux pine stems and no one will be the wiser.
Specializing in dried branches, flowers, and grasses, Nettleton Hollow has an excellent assortment of classic and unexpected botanical accents to tuck into your mantel or centerpiece. Try a few sprigs of preserved juniper, a way more interesting pick than pine, or some crimson preserved Eucalyptus.
Top-quality preserved greenery is abundant at Afloral. Maybe you’re going for a traditional look, in which case its artificial magnolia garland, soft cypress wreath, or “soft touch” faux norfolk pine branches could be a hit. We’re also into the accent stems (see: mini pine-cone branches for the win).
While perhaps most popular for its dried, autumnal selection, this online marketplace has lots of good greenery, too. Toggle to the Preserved Leaves page for everything from magnolia leaves painted silver or glimmering gold to those delicately bleached so that they are just the skeleton of the original leaf (sounds creepy, looks super chic). Plus a lot of other things that aren’t magnolia leaves!
This Manhattan flower-district favourite is known for its thoughtful, high-quality inventory of artificial greenery. The faux boxwood garlands are available three ways: lush and fluffy, loose and textured, or flowering (sort of a combo of the first two, with tiny white flowers). Don’t sleep on the preserved moss selection, either.
Images: Pexels, Unsplash