After the Snow
Seeds, - Grow a piece of Wisley in your garden

No maintenance gardens?

On my first visit to clients, i'm often told that the reason their garden doesn't look great is because they have "no time to do anything", we then talk through what they want, and then I have to explain that what they want will take time to achieve and maintain, and they either have to find the time, or pay me or others to do it.  However today I might have spotted something that might fall into the No maintenance garden category.

While packing up the truck today, I glanced over to my clients neighbour, who had this hanging up outside her window


Now I know it's fake, but it didn't look too bad, and my hairdresser had asked me if I knew where she could find plastic box balls, - so I went next door to ask about them.

Dawn who lives there actually runs, - which is a company with a shop in Claygate, that sell silk flowers. - and as well as giving me a card, she showed me some of the other plants that they do.

yes these ones really are plastic.

ok, so obvious that it's not real when it's flowering in January!, but in late August?

She was also enthusing about a new range of grasses, that I could plant for clients, and I found myself saying "no I wouldn't use these, I only use real plants" - but looking at these photos, and thinking about some areas (like by front doors) where clients have managed to kill plants through neglect, i'm thinking, - Would I?

Would you? - what do you think about Silk/Plastic plants, - are they worth using in a garden that itsn't going to get attention, or should they not be part of a gardeners range?


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Robert Webber

Driving into London via Earl's Court and Victoria you see some very smart 'box' topiary', icluding some where plants are visually needed, but would very obviously not survive or be difficult to water enough. So yes I would if I felt it appropriate. The faux plants in this blog are even more convincing, because they are less regular I guess. Faux turf with ribs of paving at chelsea this year was postively elegant!
Best wishes


I've got clients who could probably even kill one of these!

Claire Brown

Emma,- that made me laugh out loud

Robert - I think my distaste for plastic plants is a hangup from the ones i dealt with in the '90s that wouldn't even stand up, beginning to change my mind

Nell Jean

They have their place, it just isn't in my garden.


Oh dear. I have a client who wants an impossible plant for a particular location. He's kept on planting them and they keep dying. He asked me about plastic options recently and because he's resisted any attempts on my part to suggest other varieties of plant, I'm actually considering it for JUST that one plant. Sheesh.

I hate the idea in so many ways, though. I guess it comes down to: why are we gardening? For visual beauty or for something a bit more - to change the world for the better, have a positive impact on the environment, create places where people can connect with nature even if they don't have time to actually go into nature?

If you know of a source for quality plastic Italian Cypress, let me know.

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