Monday 2 May 2016

Artificial Flowers

Until yesterday there was no doubt in my mind, summer started in May. I would have put money on it. St Bridget's Day, the 1st of February, was Spring, and therefore today - May - was the start of Summer...

Even though the trees were still looking very stark and skeletal up until a few weeks ago, I was sticking to my guns. But there's actually two thoughts on this; according to Met Éireann the Summer months are June, July and August. However, the Irish Calendar states that Summer begins in Ireland on the 1st of May and ends on the 1st of August when schools are still enjoying Summer holidays. Who has more authority, Met Éireann or the Calendar?! I'm going to make a calculated decision here, change my thinking (and what I learnt in first class and thought was absolutely right) and go with Met Éireann. It felt a bit like the Antarctic on Friday with wintery showers all day long so it definitely makes a lot more sense!

June is also the time of year when most of the flowering plants are starting to bloom. In July, I have massive dusty pink hydrangeas in the garden, fragrant lavender, and petunias and geraniums in hanging baskets. I cut off the blooms on the hydrangeas just as they are starting to wilt and dot them in small vases around the house. I love the colour of the petals - they also happen to go perfectly with the Farrow & Ball muted hues on the walls. From July to September, they create a superb display but unfortunately I still have a month or two to wait.

In Winter and Spring, I rely on fresh bunches of flowers - mainly from Lidl - to brighten up the house. They're really good value and usually last. I've always stayed away from artificial flowers. In Feng Shui they're a big no-no. They represent dead, stale energy and just end up collecting dust. But recently I found out that silk plants and flowers are considered suitable in Feng Shui homes as they're made from natural fabric. With that in mind I decided to get a couple of artificial silk hydrangeas for the hall until the ones from the garden were ready to be cut and brought indoors.

I wanted to get the exact colour as the ones from the garden. But as you know, if you go out looking for something (either for your home or your wardrobe) with an definite idea of what you want in mind it's usually really, really difficult to find.

I was looking for this...

Image source here

I started my hunt in Helen Turkington, where their flower section "Flowers on the Avenue" is vast and absolutely stunning. The flower arrangements are created by renowned florist Anne Coughlan using fresh and silk flowers. Unfortunately the ones I wanted were out of stock. They were in high demand and she was waiting on an order to come in over the coming weeks. So I decided to look elsewhere. I knew silk flowers may not be stocked in every shop but for the sake of a a month or two I thought it might be ok to digress slightly from the Feng Shui rule..!

Over the next few weeks I tried Ikea, Dunnes, Heatons, Marks & Spencer, Woodies, Brown Thomas, Next Home and Meadows & Byrne - I was determined! But no one stocked the pink/purple hydrangea I wanted.

Finally, I found a good alternative in House of Fraser.

I bought them, brought them home and cut the wire to size with a secuteers to fit the small glass vase I usually use for fresh flowers.

I also popped in some fresh eucalyptus from the garden.

They were (almost!) perfect. That evening I was looking online for a picture frame - as you do - and what do you think happened? I found the hydrangea!

Image source here

Global village at the KCR stocked them, they were part of their Neptune range. They were expensive though, €24 each - typical, I always end up choosing the pricey ones! Maybe by next Winter I'll splash out but for now I'm happy with the ones I have, and I don't have too long to wait until Summer. Only 30 more sleeps!


4. Dunnes

5. Ikea

*For me, Meadows & Byrne and House of Fraser had the most realistic, reasonably priced flower selection.


  1. They delivered the flowers the day before to our room, and they were beautiful, and exactly like my picture I had sent. I never got to see the groom's corsage, as it went missing from our hotel's fridge, but the bridal bouquet by Flowers NYC was stunning, as well as the mothers' and fathers' corsages.

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