Full disclosure, right off the bat. I was recently approached by a representative from a company that sells artificial plants, silk flowers, hedges, trees, and just about any other foliage you can think of. They offered me one of their products for free if I would agree to write about it.
Not in the habit of turning down free stuff, I browsed www.silkplantsdirect.com and picked out a pair of Fern Hanging Baskets. I've always liked ferns and tried my hand at adopting one once. Not only did it die a slow and painful death at the hands of my brown thumbs, but I also learned that ferns like to shed their tiny dead leaves all over the floor. A lot.
Not to worry, because barring any house fires or cat burglar break ins, my new ferns from Silk Plants Direct should last me forever. They've spruced up my patio quite nicely.
These ferns are designed to be outdoors. And that's a good thing because they reek like gasoline. I can only assume that something other than gas was used to protect them from the elements or something. Regardless, you don't want these in the house if that odor is normal.
The baskets come with a twine hanger attached and ready to go. All I had to do was arrange the branches a little since they were squished together for shipping.
So is anybody going to believe these ferns are the real thing? If they get close enough, probably not. But I don't really care. I think they look swell and nary a stray leave will hit my patio this summer.
If you're up for some care free foliage, give www.silkplantsdirect.com a gander. Their selection is pretty impressive. If it lives in dirt and drinks water, they probably have an artificial version of it. Now if only I could get a free sample of the astroturf that the Brady family had in their back yard....
Robert Brumm is the author of several books and indeed does not have a green thumb. It's more of a burnt umber.