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.
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.