faking it with a little bit of faux.

While my sister and I were driving around the Mac-Grove neighborhood looking for garage sales the other day, my sister admired the window boxes at one house that were full of blooms.  I looked over to see what she was looking at and immediately knew they were fake.  Mainly because I know that you can’t have wisteria flowers coming right out of the dirt in a window box, and you also can’t have them in late August.

Aside from that, they looked pretty good from a distance.  Obviously good enough that my sister thought they were real.

I’ve always been a bit of a plant/flower snob.  Having fake ones just feels like cheating to me.

But for the past several months I’ve been trying to decide what to do with this amazing old toolbox that I display in my dining room window.

I found this at a garage sale several years ago, and I added the stencil to the side.

Last year around this time I filled it up with flowers from my Limelight hydrangea.  They were fresh when I took that photo, but they dried in place and looked really pretty for the most of the winter.  But when summer came, I felt like they were starting to look pretty dusty and drab and I needed to come up with another plan.

I thought about putting a row of three small topiaries in the box.  That probably would have looked amazing, but I have a history of killing off topiaries.  And those thing aren’t cheap.

Then I saw some lavender plants at my local Bachman’s (plant nursery) and thought they would look gorgeous in the toolbox.

But I knew that I would never be able to keep these blooming over the winter, even in a south facing window.  In fact, I’ve even tried growing these outside over the summer and haven’t been able to keep them blooming.  After all, lavender likes hot, sunny, dry weather.  We don’t have much of that here in Minnesota, especially in the winter.

So initially I nixed the idea of lavender.  But then I mentioned this conundrum at work and my co-worker Jodie suggested I add a couple of fake flower stems to the real plants.


It had never occurred to me that you could supplement real plants with a few fake flowers.  As long as I can keep the plants themselves alive, I’ll be good to go.

So I waited for the fake flowers to go on sale at Hobby Lobby and then I picked some up for around $2 each.  Then I went back to Bachman’s and purchased three lavender plants for $12.99 each.

I brought them home and popped them into the toolbox.

Perfect fit.

Then I cut the faux flowers down a bit …

and simply added them to the real plants.

One benefit to using real plants is that they smell amazing.

I think the fake flowers look pretty good, although of course anyone who knows plants is going to realize they can’t possibly be real.  Especially in the middle of January.

It also remains to be seen whether or not I can at least keep the plant itself looking good through winter, but I have read up on it and I should be able to grow lavender indoors in a sunny south facing window, even in Minnesota.

If I can pull it off, I think it’s going to be nice to have something ‘blooming’ in my window all winter long.


29 thoughts on “faking it with a little bit of faux.

  1. The lavender looks great. That’s a clever idea. We grew some lavender in our yard and it was pretty spectacular for two years and then the South Carolina humidity got it. Can you say rot? But I did manage to cut and dry some. I wonder if the dried flowers could be added like you did the faux. Hmmm…I may have to give that a go. Love that box and of course the stencil makes it for me.


    1. Hmmm, you’ll have to give it a try Victoria. I’m wondering if the dried flowers heads would just look kind of dead in contrast to the live plant though. I suppose it depends on how good those dried flowers look!


  2. Looks good…who cares if it’s fake if it looks good. I must say it looks a lot better than the Grant’s Store (Thompson Grove area of Cottage Grove back in the early 60’s) tulip bushes my Mom would stick in the built in planter box in the living room. Lol. Ahhhh… those were the days. I can still see the bright red and yellow fake tulips. To each his own! Yours look real at least.


  3. That looks amazing. Believe it or not, I did the same thing for my daughters wedding. Did some real and added fake ones in the water and no one ever knew and I got so many compliments on the flowers! Still one of my favorite parts of the evening!


  4. Beautiful flower box! Really a nice touch – the new faux flowers are very pretty. I also found some last year to mix with real greens.
    I have a whole bunch of old autumn fake flowers that I used one year many years ago – they’ve been bagged up to go to the second hand store…might have to check to see if I should pull any of them out…


  5. Looks really great.
    I do this with orchid plants. They are really beautiful around the home when they are flowering but once the flowers die off I cut back the flower stem then pop in an artificial flowering orchid stem. It fools most people, especially from a distance, and stops the plants looking so bland once the flowers have died. Once a new flower stem has grown and is starting to bud I take out the artificial flower stem and enjoy the real thing again for s few months.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The flower mix looks very pretty and I love the old toolbox. I have a bad history of killing any plant in my vicinity. Even my friends well-established plants die after I visit! No lie! I did buy a beautiful set of fake flowers in a gorgeous vase about 15 years ago. I still have them. Friends and family come over, see them, talk about how they hate fake flowers, love my roses and go over to smell them – never realizing they are fake until I tell them! I always laugh during the speeches about the ugliness of fake flowers after being told how beautiful my arrangement is. I usually let the cat out of the bag after they smell them and comment how they don’t have an odor! As an old nurse, I’ve always been grateful that people didn’t respond to my TLC like plants do. I’ve killed off every type of “hardy” plant out there – ferns, air plants, cacti, aloe, and poison ivy. I get near a plant and it dies. It’s funny but rather sad because I do appreciate the look of live plants and flowers. I have a huge yard that I’m lucky I can grow simple grass on. I finally hired landscapers to try to keep it alive and maybe put in some flowers. I’ll just appreciate them from afar. I’m definitely envious of your green thumb!


    1. Actually, I do have a green thumb when I want to have one. But I’ve been cutting way back on houseplants in recent years because I got tired of caring for them. I’m going to try to confine my live plants to one window this coming winter and then see if I can manage to keep them healthy.


      1. I am envious and sure you’ll have no trouble at all keeping your indoor & outdoor plants healthy. No matter how hard I try, I kill any plant. My oldest son brought home a small bush with a big root ball on his last day of 2nd grade . I planted following all the instructions – including how big and deep the hole should be (imagine me out in the yard with a yard stick measuring my dug hole – hilarious) and watered it every day just like the instructions said. 3 weeks later my 2nd grader said “Mon, stop. You’re just watering a stick.” I told him it just takes a while for a bush to take off. he then reached down and, sure enough, pulled what was left of the bush out of the ground – nothing left but a simple stick – no root ball, no tiny roots, no branches, just a single stick. I was broken hearted because it was from him and was a Mulberry bush. All the kids had been given one because the school was on Mulberry Street and the old school was being torn down to be replaced with a new one.That poor bush/stick never had a chance! He’s 28 now and still laughs about it! I still mourn the old bones, 100 year old brick, wooden stairs and huge card catalogs that were destroyed.


  7. This is a genius hack! I have struggled for 20 years to grow lavender with marginal success; I just may supplement my outdoor plants with a little faux! My childhood memory of artificial flowers is from Memorial Day, when my grandparent’s small town in Michigan decked headstones in the cemeteries with plastic flowers. Just can’t shake that visual! Ugh!


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