There’s a house that was recently completed about two miles from our house, and I absolutely love this house. To be honest, I can’t even remember what was there before. Is this a brand new house? Was the house there before, and they just completely remodeled it? I have no idea. But this new (or newly remodeled) house is really pretty. What I notice first and foremost every single time I drive by are the two pretty spiral cedar topiaries they have in their front flower gardens.
I absolutely love spiral topiaries, and I’d love to have some in my front flower beds as well. But I’ve had spiral topiaries before, and just couldn’t (or didn’t want to) keep up with them. You have to keep them trimmed to keep their shape, which I didn’t enjoy doing. But what bothered me the most about them was that one grew more than the other. So while they started off looking identical as they flanked my front door, they eventually lost that pretty, symmetrical look. And then I killed them. (Not intentionally, I promise!)
And what happens if you have two topiaries flanking your front door, and the one of them dies? There’s no way to find another one that will look identical after the original has been planted and growing for a while. It seems like you’d have to replace both of them if you want to keep that symmetrical look.
I’m not one of those people who gets really annoyed by fake plants. I use a combination of fake and real plants inside our home. Heck, I even use a combination of real and fake outside of our home on/around our front porch.
The two tall-ish cedars on either side of the front steps are fake. I think they’re fantastic quality, and once you fluff and manipulate the branches a little, they look pretty real to me. (And they’re on sale for $38 right now!)
But I’ve always drawn the line with fake plants at keeping them in pots. As long as they’re potted, it seems fine to me. But actually planting them in the ground? Outside? In the front yard? I know other people do it. I’ve seen their pictures in the customer review section of Amazon listings. And you know what? They look great!
In the past, I’ve contemplated whether or not I could do artificial grass in our front yard. I finally decided that I don’t want to be that person in central Texas who has the perfectly green yard in the middle of winter while everyone else’s grass is dormant and looks dead and brown. Nothing could make it more obvious that the grass is fake.
I’ve also contemplated whether or not I could use fake plants in the flower boxes I eventually plan to build (yes, I do still plan to build them) for the front windows of our house. I envision the studio looking something like this eventually, except that the steps to the studio door will be white and stained wood like the front steps rather than red brick…
Honestly, I wouldn’t have any problem doing fake greenery mixed with real flowers if I needed to. But there are some great, easy-to-grow green plants (like potato vines) that are available that may eliminate any need for fake greenery for me. Even if I did use fake greenery in those, there’s not much of a hurdle from using fake plants in a pot and fake plants in a window box. That’s basically the same thing.
But actually planting fake plants in the ground in a flower bed? I’m just not sure about it. What I do know is that if I’m going to have topiaries of any kind, they will have to be fake. And since I drive by that house just about every single day, and see their beautiful topiaries, I really want my own topiaries! I think the fake ones might work if they’re mixed in with real plants and colorful annuals.
I haven’t found any spiral topiaries that I think look real, but I did find these ball topiaries that I’m tempted to buy. They have great ratings, and while the product photos wouldn’t have convinced me (they all seem very photoshopped and way too perfect to be real), the customer pictures look really good. None of them show the topiaries planted in the ground, though.
I think I might go for it. If they don’t work out in the front flower beds, I can always put them in planters and move them to the back when we eventually have a deck in the back.
Would you ever try fake topiaries (or other “evergreen” plants) in the front flower bed? Have you ever tried it? These particular topiaries are labeled for for indoor or outdoor use, and the listing says they can be put in the ground. And while they’re plastic, I can’t imagine that they’d last forever, especially in the Texas sun and heat. So while they may last a long time, I would expect that they’d eventually fade and have to be replaced. If you’ve done it, I’m curious to know how long they lasted.
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.