Monday, September 03, 2007

Fake OUT

The Washington Post printed a Newsday article entitled, "Artificial Life for Tired Gardens
Fake Flowers Provide a Flourish of Color With More Variety, Less Upkeep" this past Saturday. It has taken me two days to recover from this terrorist act. I will NOT be showing a photo of this travesty against nature here. But you can view it at this article link. This piece was buried in the back of the Real Estate section on a holiday weekend. It should never have seen the light of day.

The article's author writes, "Although using artificial flowers indoors has long been acceptable -- socially speaking -- few have dared to put their arrangements in the front yard." You are DEAD WRONG. Artificial plants and flowers are NOT socially acceptable or passable. For instance on HGTV's recent show, the "25 Biggest Decorating Mistakes". Number one on their list was fake flowers. The only people you see pushing them as "totally fine" are the manufacturers and sellers of them. Their argument being "you can't tell the difference." That is complete BS! You can tell from 20 feet away on most of them and those that take any inspection or scrutiny you immediately recoil at the lack of sent, live texture, and warmth.

The subject of this piece, Honey Starr, says, "No one ever, ever thinks they're fake." Newsflash, lady-whose-name-makes-you-assume-she-is-a-stripper! They all think ands know they are fake, They are just too polite to say anything to your face, but believe they are saying it behind your back.

What really spun my wheels in this piece was the effort she puts into this fake display -- spending hundreds of dollars on these fake-os, changing it out seasonally, fluffing them up, etc. Buying real annuals and plotting them in would be ever so much less work. The only additional effort I see would be watering them regularly -- that is if they are in containers and if you did not get enough rainfall.

A side bar to the story on just how to incorporate fakes in your outdoor landscape begins: >"You want to do it in good taste," advises Shelley Greenberg of TerracottaHome...< I think that is an impossible task, Shelley. That is like saying go ahead and dress like a hoochie-mama, just as long as you "do it in good taste."

My big gripes on this (beside the taste factor) are:
1. You are adding plastic to the landfill and giving NOTHING back to the environment - think of the poor birds, bees, butterfllies, etc. who are deprived of a habitat. If you want low-mainteance, letting your yard go to weeds would be much more preferable as far as Mother Nature is concerned.
2. You are getting nothing from the gardening experience and depriving yourself of a spiritual connection to the Earth - with an instant gardener just for show - you are merely decorating your lawn like a cheap hotel lobby. Is that really the life you want to live? You miss the enriching opportunity to nurture something from start to finish -- even if you fail, you learned something. And when you succeed, you can be savor the reward as your own.
3. What's next fake veggie patches? Where you buy blemish-free produce at the supermarket, come home and arrange it "artfully" on some fake ivy vines? Then wait for your neighbors to get home so you can go out and "pick" the tomatoes and brag about your great crop. Where does the fakeness end?


Anonymous said...

Speaking a little from the other side of the equation, my mom is the Grim Reaper of House Plants. Petunias tremble at the plant shop as she walks by. She gave it an honest try for about 40 years, but when they started RVing she just gave up. So she decorates her front porch with silks. The yard gets annuals from my dad and they have a decent life expectancy. But the silks on the porch keep mom happy, without sending any more innocent plants to the great composte heap in the sky. Tacky? Yeah, kinda. Merciful though. Momma-mia culpa. (If it helps at all, she does re-use them for many years.)


Anonymous said...

fabulous idea. washingtongarder is truly a rude (IF ITS NOT NATOUAL) opinioned --- ----. this is a genine HOBBY, your opinions are crude. more and more working people have to have some short cuts for their land. did you ever see the faux flowers of DIANE JAMES? that is quite beautiful. a little sensitivity to your comments in the wake of ms. starrs loss. Her daughter.

WashingtonGardener said...

I looked for an obit for "Honey Starr," but none online that I can find - did it stipulate that only fake flowers and artificial plants be brought to the wake?
I have seen the intricate work and ridiculous prices of Diane James. For the $75 for one fake, tiny pansy plant in a pot, you could buy 150 (or more) real pansies! Just think of that gorgeous display. I appreciate the hard work DJ puts into her creations - but I prefer those made by God. They smell sweet, withstand the outdoor elements, rebloom profusely, are edible, and recylable too.
I do have one exception to my "no fakes" bias - and it is when an artist is using them to make an installation such as this one by Virgil Marti here:
As to being a genuine "hobby" - that is the same arguement made by those collecting vintage porn or competing in hot-dog eatting contests -- sure large numbers of people do it and businesses cater to them, but I certainly don't have to approve or like the way their spend their time.

Anonymous said...

I believe it was ms. starrs daughter. cant you read? she apparantly made these floweres during her childs illness. Diane James is quite expensive. But they are expensive. many restaurants in major cities use them to keep down weekly costs. some people cannot have time or desire to create real flowers. the point is your insulting, nasty comments of what another person likes. creativity differs from one person to another. yours might be true gardening, another might not. Its just a plant done in her way, BE A LITTLE SENSITIVE. losing a child deserves kindness, not sick comments.

WashingtonGardener said...

Anonymous 1:15AM -
You are as fake as the artificial flowers you so love to defend. As a matter of fact, I have reason to believe you and "Anonymous 12:58AM" commenter are the same person and that person is Honey Starr herself. Give it a rest.

Doug in Mount Vernon said...

Sorry but real gardeners just don't do fake.

And yes, it is offensive when ANYONE does fake outdoors.

Good God, have we really gotten that fat, lazy, and gauche. Then again, these are the same people who thought Saddam was responsible for 9-11 and that invading Iraq would make us safer.


Keep up the great work WG!

WashingtonGardener said...

Thanks for having my back, Doug! I was beginning to think I was the lone voice of reason out here :-).

Brian said...

love the work in old westbury keep your nasty comments to yourself. i have been doing it for years