Tuesday, July 26, 2016

When Faking It Isn't a Bad Thing

When Faking It Isn’t a Bad Thing

All of us have attended weddings and marveled at beautiful bouquets a bride and her attendants carried down the aisle. Those of us who enjoy flowers appreciate well-designed arrangements that brighten the sanctuary. Then our roaming eyes note the corsages and boutonnieres that mothers, fathers, grandparents, and groomsmen wear. In the past, brides were at the mercy of their mother’s garden or a savvy florist for these bridal necessities. Every blossom was freshly cut and arranged  just before the wedding. Nowadays, wives-to-be visit hobby stores to select realistic silk flowers that hold color and shape before and after their nuptials.

Like all new trends, this one got off to a slow start and guaranteed a bit of snooty commentary among guests with old-fashioned sensibilities. However, manufacturers realized the potential for these everlasting blossoms and tweaked their product until it’s impossible to tell whether you’re looking at someone’s garden glory or a fake. Who hasn’t slyly fondled a silk plant or arrangement to see if it’s the real deal? It doesn’t take much imagination to see why this market succeeded while others didn’t.

I’ve discovered that weddings aren’t the only place silk flowers are lovely to look at and affordable. Folks who live in deer country are discovering they can design colorful flowerbeds that brighten their yards and last all summer for the same price they’d pay for garden shop plants.

For readers who’ve never dealt with a determined doe or buck with an acquired a taste for tulips, daffodils, geraniums, and daisies, the gardener fights a losing battle. Those wily critters can leap high fences, gobble tender leaves and blooms, and exit before you can ask “Whitetail or muley?”

This summer, I’ve watched several does mow neighbors’ and my healthy plants to stubble, so I’m familiar with their sneaky strategies. Nothing frustrates a green-thumbed dreamer more than going to bed knowing their prized plant is about to flower and coming outside the next morning to find sheared  stumps it its place.

A nearby resident figured out how to deceive the local herd and still enjoy a colorful yard. As I walked past their waist-high fence week after week, I noted delicate iris, hyacinths, tulips, daisies, and daffodils. After seeing these always perfect flowers, I wondered why their blooms lasted so long. Curiosity overcame me until I wandered close enough to examine their garden more closely. Yep, they’d torn a page out of a bridal magazine and loaded their bordered beds with silk plants. Apparently, they didn’t buy cheap stuff because this greenery looks real.

I’d loved to have seen the face of the deer that bounded over that fence to sample that first fibrous petal. If I didn’t relish the act of potting tiny sprouts  and nurturing them as they grow into lush, leafy foliage filled with swelling buds, I’d be the silk plant aisle’s best customer. Those deer would need a mineral oil dosing to clean their systems out after they’d invaded my fake jungle.


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