Thursday, April 5, 2018

Confessions of a Plant Killer (Plantscape Inc. Interior Landscape Review)

Good morning!!

Tell the truth-- are you a low down plant murderer like myself or are you one of the blessed few of my acquaintance who could keep an orchid alive in the Kalahari? And if you're in the latter category-- how on earth do you do it? 

I feel like "plant tending" is one of those adult competencies no one mentions to you until you're far too far behind to hope to catch up-- nothing looks as grown up as a room full of floor-trailing leafy limbs and ferns and palm sprouting things in full verdant splendor, but good golly, it's hard to keep those green things green. I had a nice, Victorian-looking palm plant in a big pot that I proudly bought at Home Depot some years ago, whose green fronds turned yellow and then brownish and then just shriveled up and died without so much as a pause in between color change stages for me to ask myself what I was doing wrong. I'm not sure if I was overwatering, underwatering, or just putting too much of my faith in the Lord Jesus to keep the plant alive if I couldn't...but in whatever case, that plant in heaven now (RIP).  However! Oddly enough, this inauspicious beginning and taste of plants in my house didn't discourage me-- it only convinced me that I needed a more forgiving plant in my life. And so far, I have two-- a Christmas cactus I bought heavily discounted after Christmas, and an Easter Lily, both of which are alive if not totally thriving in my back bedroom after getting kicked out the living room by an overly inquisitive toddler. I do wonder, though, if the real answer is in Dustin Hoffman's dad's friend's advice from The Graduate: "One word. Plastics."

To dreeeeeam....the impossible dreeeeam..... (source)
Plantscape Inc, which describes itself as a "leader in the manufacturing of interior landscaping related products exclusively for commercial projects and the wholesale trade", contacted me via email the other day, and was I pleased! All my blogger friends back in the heyday of personal blogs would get offers from eShakti and the like and all I ever got were weird offers to "organically increase traffic on my website" or "order metal bracket pulls at commercial prices" (I wish I was kidding). When Plantscape offered me a plant of my choice to review for the blog, so you'd better believe I snapped one up tout de suite. The process took less than I think a week or so from ordering to having the plant in a large box I originally mistook for a flower delivery on my front porch.

Here's what the plant looked like on the website (minus the hearts...the hearts are mine):

And here's what it looks like at home with me:

Sorry about the unintentional camouflage, outside on the patio was the only
place bright enough to photograph this guy!

Not bad, huh? I honestly think it looks a little better than the photographs, and how often is that the case (trick question: never). I also always worry that the plant will be smaller than I imagined it when I ordered it online, but this one was about exactly the size I expected it to be, and packaged safely enough that none of the leaves were bent or broken in transit. All I had to do was "fluff" some of the leaves and I honestly am ready to have it on display.

I was impressed with the quality of the plant. I feel like the field of plastic plant-making must have come a long way since my memory of very noticeably fake ficus trees and the like in the dentists' offices of my childhood. I can remember, too, my mom putting together flower wreaths for family plots at the cemetery that, in spite of her good eye for color, bore about as much resemblance to a real flower as Velveeta to Wisconsin cheddar. This, however, minus a few little places where the glue shows and I might need to scrape a bit of the excess, looks like a very realistic plant!

I think the key to good fake indoor plants, beyond buying one that isn't egregiously fake looking, is just blending it in where a real plant would look reasonable or WITH other real plants. Sometimes, reading interior design blogs, I'm shocked to find that the fiddle leaf fig I was drooling over and wondering if the owner misted every day with a perfumed spritzer or exactly HOW they'd managed to coax such an exotic thing into living in a non-climate-controlled Nashville sitting room, was not from a nursery but from Overstock's large selection of fake indoor houseplants (as in Elsie from ABM's guide to fake plants in ya own home environment). Color me impressed.

Image result for decorating with fake plants
Now if I could only get that midcentury wall unit AND that possibly real, possibly fake fiddle tree, I would be so happy. Source
Now, the thing left to do, and the thing I should have already done before I committed to writing a blog about the new fake plant in my life, is to find a suitable pot to put it in, and then I think I'm going to put real dirt in around the ersatz stuff in the plastic container the plant came in. Usually, landscaping rocks and dirt together would look better in my opinion, but having a toddler around with curious hands who likes to put anything/everything in his mouth, I feel like dirt is less likely to trigger a visit to the emergency room than smooth river stones. Though, I mean, ideally, he'll just leave it alone ( ha, ha, HA, I can hear you's ok, I say it to myself, too). The last fake plant I had, which I kept in the living room and loved DEARLY, I had to eventually surrender back to Hobby Lobby because I felt bad about having this $100-ish dollar home decor object that Remy was 400% going to destroy before the end of the year. He liked to take each of the approximately 24" leaves and pull on them as if they were something in a ribbon twirling competition. While this mischief hadn't caused any major damage yet, I knew it was only a matter of time (glad I kept that receipt).

Look how cute that plant looked. God speed, fake plant from Hobby Lobby.
I'm hoping to put the new Plantscape plant in exactly the place of the old one, but what kind of planter should I use? I think all of these look great. I might just run out to World Market or Hobby Lobby and grab something this weekend.

one, two three, four

So! If you're a green thumb, what are your tips for keeping a plant this side of the land of the living? If you have fake plants in your house, how do you style them to keep them looking less like "80's resort lobby" and more like "I can't believe that's not real!" ? Let's talk!

Back to movies next week, but we'll talk again soon! See ya then.

For more on Plantscape:

interior landscape design

interior plant service

This is a review post for Plantscape Inc. All opinions are my own. I was compensated for this post with a product supplied by them.

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