In praise of silk flowers

I know you might scoff at fake flowers, and have possibly even been a scoffer ever since you first noticed the thick-plastic blooms your grandmother used to display on top of her console television in the 1970’s. I get it – you’d rather have REAL flowers, because real flowers look beautiful and smell heavenly.

Real Tulips | Vintage Floral Cottage

Real peonies | Vintage Floral Cottage

But here’s the thing: unless you have an endless supply of real flowers at your disposal (meaning, a cutting garden or maybe just a high-yielding flower bed), real flowers can also be kind of expensive – it’s not long before they have to be discarded and money spent all over again to replace them. I’m not saying they’re not worth it – of course they are! (Here is my secret source for real flowers that are NOT expensive, by the way!)

Real Sunflowers | Vintage Floral Cottage

Dreamsicle Roses | Vintage Floral Cottage

It’s just that fake flowers – specifically, silk flowers – maintain their beauty for a one-time investment and can bring a long-lasting pop of color to a space for as long as you want them to. They’re a perfectly  acceptable alternative when the flower budget is shot. In fact, they’re an acceptable alternative without even being an alternative! I daresay that my “vintage floral cottage” wouldn’t be Vintage Floral Cottage – it wouldn’t be floral – were it not for silk flowers!

Silk Hydrangeas | Vintage Floral Cottage

Silk peonies | Vintage Floral Cottage

They are also wonderful for crafting, where they can be used in wreaths, baskets, or anything needing garden-variety embellishments. And, they can do this even if they don’t really look real – I was so fortunate to find a large bunch of silk peonies in dusty-pink/faded hues… not realistic, but they suit my décor perfectly and I’ve used them in vases and projects for years!

Repurposed Radio | Vintage Floral Cottage


Silk Flower Arrangement | Vintage Floral Cottage

If it helps you to overcome your fake flower phobia (phake phlower phobia? Fake flower fobia?), think of it this way: If you wanted a large chunk of rusty, authentic farmhouse windmill hanging on that large blank wall in your entry/kitchen/family room, but you didn’t want to pay the outrageous asking price of a junk dealer who’s onto the whole “rusty farmhouse goodness” thing happening these days…

Half a Windmill | Vintage Floral Cottage

That’s $403.76 for half a windmill, y’all!

…or you didn’t want to shimmy up an actual windmill and try to detach the spinny part yourself (with permission, of course)… well, you might find yourself at Hobby Lobby eye-balling the metal objects made to look like windmill blades!

And what you’d have is an object, manufactured to look like an actual object… but not the actual object. Sound familiar?

Spring silk flowers | Vintage Floral Cottage

Silk lilacs | Vintage Floral Cottage

Not sure I should admit this, but last year I even put silk flowers out in the planters on my front porch. Yep, outdoors. Where real flowers grow. In my defense, I had filled the planters with Fall pumpkins, but they needed a little oomph. A little something more. A certain je ne sais quoi. It actually looked kinda pretty. Mind you, these were Dollar Tree silk flowers… yep, one dollar for a stem with five blooms per stem.

Outdoor Planters | Vintage Floral Cottage

I’m sure my master-gardener neighbor was peeking out her curtains like Gladys Kravitz, wondering if I had lost my mind and crossing my name off the invite list for the upcoming block party. But that’s okay, I see she’s got a bottle tree made from re-bar instead of an actual tree, so… I think we understand each other.



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