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It won’t come as much of a surprise that the wedding design industry is big business and least of all in the floral department. In fact, the wedding service industry was estimated to be worth at least £10 billion last year and that was in the UK alone.

According to various sources, the average newly-engaged couple will be looking to spend about 8-10% of their nuptials budget on floral arrangements for their big day. A hefty chunk when you consider all the expenditures that go into planning the wedding as a whole.

Flowers are always going to be an essential detail for any wedding design, but they don’t necessarily have to be real to create an everlasting impression.

7 Pros of Using Artificial Flowers in Wedding Designs

  1. They are hardy! No more wilting and shrivelling – especially during the heat of summer when so many weddings take place. In fact, they’re ready to go from the initial ordering process to the time of the big day itself.
  2. Artificial flowers also tend to be a lot lighter. This also applies to the various centrepieces as they won’t need a water source. This is important when it comes to transportation and hanging installations in the venue space. No water source = no water splash = one less thing to worry about! 
  3. Takes the stress away! You don’t have to order the flowers to arrive last minute so they are as fresh as possible or worry about them turning up on time. Artificial flowers can be ordered way in advance and then be lightly dusted and adjusted before they are actually needed. Also, if you are arranging them yourself this gives you plenty of time to play around with arrangements without having to constantly keep buying fresh ones.
  4. Allergies! If there are concerns that a wedding guest may sneeze through the ceremony or start sputtering through the speeches then this may be a good way to eliminate the fear of a sudden pollen attack ruining everyone’s day.
  5. The couple gets to keep them forever! This element of a couple’s special day will be frozen in time if that’s their wish. 
  6. Once their primary use is complete, the wedding display can then double up as a great gift of thanks to the bridal party.
  7. You don’t have to wait for the right season for a particular flower to appear! It’s the couple’s big day so their choices are widened by going down the artificial route.

Here are some great faux wedding design ideas:

Table setting 

Secret Garden – Peony Garland

Outdoor wedding 

Wisteria Tree 300cm     

Grand entrance 

Modern Eclectic – Amaryllis

Although you may not have the smell of fresh flowers, the versatility that faux-flora and fauna have to offer quashes any worries on that front. This is all about getting maximum impact with a minimum amount of stress and disruption. Plus, it’s about creating a lasting reminder of a beautiful day.

Could you or any of your employees benefit from great outdoor space at work?

In today’s working environment, the economic pressures are high and the demands to succeed are intense. It’s no wonder lunch breaks are slowly becoming a thing of the past for many and adding to stress levels.

Space for employees to remove themselves from staring at their screens and recharge for a moment equals smart business thinking. A breath of fresh air feels like the best thing in the world if you’re bogged down by work. It delivers that much-needed energy boost and clarity of mind – which in turn leads to a more productive workplace.

According to a poll undertaken by hospitality specialist Sodexo and the nonprofit health body Ukactive, 800 British workers they surveyed only took an average of 22 minutes for their lunch breaks.

How employees can benefit 

Taking a short break every couple of hours from a tough work schedule helps employees keep in good shape physically, mentally and emotionally, considerably improving productivity.

Spending as little as 20 minutes a day outside can:

  • reduce stress
  • improve memory and concentration
  • restore mental energy 
  • encourage team building
  • improve social interaction

How to Create an Outdoor Office Space

  1. Plants, plants and more plants

    Fill the space with (you guessed it) … plants. As a business, things can get busy and stressful at times, so the last thing you may be thinking about is tending to green spaces and making sure it looks luscious all year round. Try a low maintenance version of a botanical garden by opting for artificial plants. You can still mix in live plants for the extra wow factor. Grow herbs or vegetables. Or, plant flowers and grasses and create a space that attracts butterflies and pollinators.
  2. Seating

    If you really want to entice employees into using the outdoor space, provide comfortable seating where they can enjoy lunch, take a moment to themselves or even have a catch up with colleagues. 
  3. Walking Trails

    For larger spaces with land. A walking trail would be a great way to get out, take in some fresh air and get some vitamin D. For an extra endorphin boost,  this could be a great time of the day for a run or team walk.
  4. Outdoor Grilling Station

    If you really want to splash out, how about a grilling station? This would make a fabulous way for the team to get together on a Friday afternoon.

With the pressures placed on today’s workforce, it is important to remember that employees need to detach from their screens and take those all-important regular breaks.   

Giving employees an opportunity to untether themselves from technology is one more step on the ladder to staff retainment and loyalty.

Open your hotel to remote workers and reap the benefits

The number of remote workers is increasing. The Office of National Statistics predicts that 50% of UK employees will be remotely working to some degree by 2020. London alone already has more than a million people who regularly work from cafes, restaurants and other public spaces. D&D London is catering to the coworking market when it opens five of their restaurants to remote workers in June.

As the number of remote workers increases so too does demand for quality remote workspaces. A Guestline survey states that 1 in 4 remote workers feel there aren’t enough hotels that cater to the remote working market.

So, how can your hospitality business benefit from this shift in how we work and encourage digital nomads into your premises?

What is remote working?

A remote worker is someone who works outside a traditional office environment or in a different location to their employer/client.

Remote workers include freelancers and the self-employed who may not have dedicated business premises other than their home. But also includes employed staff who can choose to “work from home” either full-time or part-time aka a remote employee.

Why is remote working increasing?

Being able to work remotely has been empowered by both technology and attitude. Laptops, mobile devices and wifi have given workers the freedom to move away from a desk and therefore also out of the office. Cloud technology allows access to central information from anywhere. Plus video calling and collaboration software such as Slack negates the need for face-to-face communication.

The types of roles have also changed with an increase in tech- or service-orientated jobs. Plus there’s been a cultural shift in our understanding the importance of a good work/life balance that has helped facilitate the shift towards remote working.

What remote workspaces do remote workers choose to work from?

Remote workers are resourceful and creative in where they choose to work:

  • Work from home: not everyone has a study or home office so this can often be on the sofa, at the kitchen table or even in bed.
  • Use a coworking office: remote workers can hire deskspace in a shared office that includes shared office equipment plus other people to chat or network with.
  • Coffee shops and libraries: many public spaces offer free wifi to their patrons. Coffee shops also offer refreshments whereas libraries offer peace and quiet.
  • Your hotel lobby or restaurant: hospitality businesses are beginning to tap into the remote worker market. Read on to find out more.

Remote workers workspace

Remote worker finds a quiet spot to work.

What are the benefits of remote working?

The benefits to the worker and their employee are significant:

  • Workers have a better work/life balance
  • Environment benefits from less commuting and travel
  • Remote working means happier and less stressed employees
  • Remote workers are outperforming office workers with increases in productivity
  • Cost savings for the employer in operating overheads including needing smaller offices.

Is coworking and remote working the same thing?

Not always. A coworking space, where individuals can rent a desk or office space to suit their needs, could be viewed as a regular or traditional place of work – it’s still an office after all. Freelancers and self-employed people are more likely to use a coworking space than a remote employee.

The shared amenities and opportunities to meet and chat with other workers are much like a typical office with similar distractions of the open plan office. However, not all coworking spaces are equal. The rise of the remote worker has also led to the rise in the choice of coworker spaces.

Benefits of opening your hotel to remote workers

Many hotels and restaurants struggle to fill their premises during the day. Tapping into the remote worker market can help boost many aspects of your hospitality business:

  • Increase footfall during quieter times of the day
  • Existing guests will benefit from the workspaces too
  • Encourages contractors and business travellers to your hotel
  • Brings new people into your business who may not have otherwise visited
  • Promotes the use of your function rooms for business purposes
  • Creates a vibrant ambience: your establishment is a popular venue!
  • More sales of beverages, snacks and lunches. How about a remote worker “lunchtime special”?
  • Benefit from word of mouth recommendations.

empty hotel lobby remote workers

An empty lobby during the day isn’t earning you anything.

How to encourage remote workers into your business

Wifi and Connectivity

The biggest factor that will attract remote workers into your lobby is the quality of the internet connection. It needs to be fast, reliable and secure. Show that you welcome remote workers by displaying the information about your free wifi and how to connect to it.

Ambient noise levels

Most remote workers will opt for a quieter workspace (but there are those who thrive in busier environments). So, ambient and background noise is acceptable whereas loud voices are less desirable. Consider how close the coworking space is to the kitchen, front desk, toilets or other areas that are noisier and busier.

Comfort

Your hotel lobby or lounge is probably already a comfortable space. Think about keeping seating in smaller groups and add side or coffee tables. Natural light is best but bear in mind that harsh lighting can increase screen glare.

Privacy

Feeling you have your own space within which to work is true for remote workers as much as it for those confined to a traditional office desk. A sense of workspace privacy is vital:

  • Use plants as room dividers and screens to create privacy.
  • Experiment with different seating and table heights to define zones and options for the remote worker.
  • Create smaller working spaces and a larger meeting room area with your furniture layouts.
  • Keep furniture lower level if you’re tight on space to create a better feeling of space.

Facilities

Are you able to offer device charging facilities or provide access to a printer? Some devices are power hungry so access to sockets is likely to be a dealbreaker for most remote workers. Consider offering free tea, coffee and water as well.

Free vs Paid Coworking space

If you’re are considering a paid coworking space you’ll need to ensure you can consistently offer all of the above. So the decision to offer a rentable space will depend on how much space you can dedicate to coworking. Plus both your location and existing infrastructure. If you’re not in an area of higher-demand – such as a city or large town – then you might not attract enough remote workers to make it viable.

The benefits listed above still apply to a free remote workspace. If encouraging remote workers into your premises helps your business feel vibrant and sells a few more covers and coffees each day, then what do you have to lose?


Floresy is a supplier of artificial plants and trees to hotels, restaurants and commercial businesses in London and across the UK.

Wellness tourism is booming. But you don’t have to be a health spa to take advantage of this trend in travellers. Here are some ideas that any hotel can implement to help appeal to the wellness tourist:

Promote good sleep

As a hotelier, you know that getting a good night’s sleep is a key factor in getting a good review and seeing repeat business. Whilst you may already be proud of the quality of your bedrooms, are you using it in your marketing?

Getting good sleep is paramount to health and wellbeing just as getting exercise and eating a balanced diet. So, go the extra step and help achieve a high sleep quality for your customers:

  • Help your guests avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. A fruit and oat smoothie is a better option than a nightcap as the oats and dairy contain sleep-inducing compounds. 
  • Blackout curtains and/or eyemasks will help eliminate unwanted light
  • With people coming and going, it isn’t always easy to reduce noise levels, especially in urban areas. So how about complimentary ear plugs for all your guests?
  • Give your guests the option of no TV in their room.

You can help set the mood from the very moment your guests arrive and create a relaxed lobby. The use of plants and greenery to bring your guests closer to nature will have a beneficial effect. 

Review your menu

One of the best things about staying in a hotel is someone else does the cooking (and the washing up). For many travellers, this is an opportunity to indulge. However, for a wellness hotel, this may be an opportunity to indulge your guests in healthier options as well: 

  • Ensure you offer healthy, balanced meal options on your menu.
  • Consider including calorie information. This helps your wellness guest make informed choices about when they indulge.
  • Local and organic produce has long been a staple for many hoteliers and is a must for a wellness hotel. To push this further, you could include information about the local producers such as the ethics behind their business.
  • Include more plant-based choices on your menus – and make them accessible. How about an indulgent (and not particularly healthy) vegetarian main course? Better for the planet but also good for the soul. Avoid treating gluten-free or vegan options as afterthoughts. 

Find out about wellness activities in your area

What is there to do near you that would appeal to a wellness traveller? Activities or experiences that will help relax or enlighten are perfect and why not try them out yourself first so you can give informed advice. Show your prospective guests there are lots to choose from near your hotel. It also helps create a stress-free experience when you’ve done the legwork. Activities to consider include:

  • Yoga, meditation or alternative therapies.
  • Walking groups or maps for local walking routes or sightseeing tours
  • Expressive and creative activities such as drawing or painting classes, craft experiences like weaving or woodworking.

You can also bring the activities to your guests and organise events in your hotel.

Dare to drop the WiFi?

Whilst ditching guest WiFi altogether might be a bit drastic, how about a technology-free zone somewhere in your hotel. No phones, tablets or laptops allowed. This helps create a relaxing and stress-free zone for travellers looking to escape.

Got gym facilities? Promote them.

Whilst fitness is probably secondary to relaxation, exercise and mental health are closely connected. And a hotel gym is a great asset so make sure your guests know about. However, perhaps consider the choice of words when promoting your gym. To attract a wellness traveller, its often more about de-stressing and being active than it is about working out or getting ‘pumped’.

If you don’t have gym facilities, is there a local gym that offers day passes? How about the optional extra for guests to have an exercise bike or a yoga mat in their room for the duration of their stay? Make sure you have a solution for the physically active wellness tourist.

What to take away for your Wellness Hotel

Wellness isn’t all about exercise and healthy eating. It’s a holistic approach to looking after the mind and body. So take a step back and think about what really makes people feel happy and healthy and implement that in your business.

Floresy can help set the mood with some well-chosen artificial plants and trees. Our products are low-maintenance, realistic and perfect for your wellness hotel vibe.

 

It’s easy to access green space when living in rural areas. There are sprawling fields and woodland scenes painted across the rolling green hills of this sceptred isle. And the chances are that you can see green space from your home or drive through it on your way to work.

We know that living closer to nature can have benefits to our mental and physical health. But can people who live in cities gain the same health benefits by having access to green spaces?

What is a ‘green space’?

Green space is defined as:

an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an otherwise urban environment.

Green space and health

There are many health benefits that come from living where you have access to green space:

Green spaces make us more social

Urban design that incorporates green and colourful elements can increase social wellbeing. Simple and low-cost ideas such as painting concrete or adding planting along a roadside can promote happiness, our sense of environmental stewardship and community plus a greater trust of strangers. 

Green space slows cognitive decline among the elderly

In addition to combating social isolation through a greater number of connections, green space can also help promote healthy ageing. Living in greener neighbourhoods, and the lifestyle associated with it (physical activity and social support) can slow cognitive decline that comes with natural ageing.

Green space is good for children’s behaviour 

Just as green space may increase our sense of community, a greener urban environment may reduce aggressive behaviour among adolescents. Also, children who live closer to green spaces maybe better at paying attention, such as when at school. And students who have a view of greenery from their classroom can improve their performance during tests. 

Green space helps us concentrate at work

Green roofs are good for the environment but having a greener view from your office window may help boost a worker’s concentration. Study participants performing a boring, mind-numbing task were given a 40-second ‘micro-break’ by looking at a city rooftop scene. The participants who looked at a green rooftop subsequently made fewer mistakes and showed better concentration when the task resumed than those who viewed a concrete roof.

What are the health impacts of living in a city?

Surprisingly, there are many health benefits associated with living in urban areas:

  • City dwellers often have a lower carbon-footprint than people live in more rural areas due to denser housing and better use of public transport.
  • Obesity rates are lower in cities, maybe because people walk more.
  • You’re also less likely to die as a result of a road traffic accident in cities.

But living in a city also some negative impacts on health:

  • People who live in a city are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders and from mood disorders
  • The brains of urbanites handle stress less well than their rural counterparts
  • Air pollution is higher in urban areas and can contribute more premature deaths per year if proper controls are not put in place.

Why is green space important in a city?

In developed countries, the majority of the populations live in urban areas such as cities. In 2010, a staggering 90% of the UK’s population lived in urban areas compared to 82% in the US, and 76% in Germany.

Incorporating green space design into urban areas means being able to address some of the negative health effects of city living. And because of the higher density of people, these green spaces can impact a significant proportion of a population.

Green space can also help reduce air and noise pollution and also help keep a city cool.

So providing access to green spaces in cities becomes vital for maintaining the health and wellbeing of the majority of a country’s population.

Adding a rooftop garden helps you and your community

If you run an urban business, you can help improve the environment for your local community – as well as your staff or guests – by adding a rooftop garden. 

To help limit the weight and maintenance of such a garden, consider combing natural elements with some well-chosen artificial trees and plants. Floresy stock a range of artificial plants for outside spaces and can help you choose the right options for your exterior space. Call us today for more information on how we can help ‘green-up’ your environment.

 

It isn’t surprising that forest bathing – spending time in a forest or other green space – is good for you.

Forest bathing or Shinrin yoku is becoming very popular in some countries. Countries such as Japan, in particular, take this practice very seriously.

But more than just hokem or new-age hippy-ness, there is growing scientific evidence to back up why spending time in green spaces is good for our health.

A recent analysis in the scientific journal, Environmental Research, drew on data from multiple previous studies. The combined studies tracked a total of 290 million participants from 20 different countries. The study suggested a correlation between spending time in green spaces and several health benefits:

  • Reduces stress
  • Reduces the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Reduces risk of Type II diabetes

Above all, the participants were also more likely to describe their own health as “good”.

Why is forest bathing is good for our health?

There are many contributing factors to why spending time in green spaces is good for us. They include:

  • Promotes physical activity
  • Social interaction
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Improved air quality

Other theories include an increased exposure to the microorganisms can strengthen the immune system. But also that particular chemicals emitted by trees may actually affect our health in different ways. Some compounds have anti-bacterial properties whilst others may actually increase the activity of our immune system.

Forest bathing as a therapy

“Green prescriptions” have been given to people with various ailments since the Victorian age. And the connection between greenery and health contributed to town planning and the addition of so many parks during the 19th century.

The NHS provides advice to their GPs on the physical and mental benefits of visiting green places. The NHS states that 6-8 months after receiving a green prescription, 63% of patients are more active and 46% have lost weight. Encouraging physical activity outside in good quality green spaces is, therefore, a valuable tool in disease prevention.

Forest Bathing and Biophilic Design

Of course, the principles behind forest bathing and biophilic design are the same. We are innately connected to nature and benefit from being close to natural things such as water and plants. Biophilic design takes these principles and incorporates them into our urban and interior spaces.

How can I incorporate forest bathing into my lifestyle?

You may already be subconsciously seeking out nature for relaxation. Going for a walk is an obvious idea but for many people living urban lives, access to good quality green spaces may be difficult. So if you’re in a pinch what can you do? Here are some ideas:

  • Listen to nature’s sounds, such as birdsong and running water, to help de-stress and relax.
  • Make sure you have greenery in the form of indoor plants or even artwork depicting natural scenes.
  • Make time at the weekend to visit a green space such as a local park or a garden that’s open to the public.

At Floresy, we understand the importance of greenery in our home and work environments. If you want to increase the greenery in your space, without increasing your water consumption or the time it takes to maintain your plants, our artificial products are here to support your needs. Give us a call today to find out how we can help.

At Floresy, we love to promote all the benefits of having plants in your interiors, whether that’s residential or commercial, for relaxing or for working. And we love to talk about how plants make us feel happy, relaxed and comfortable.

But, behind their glossy-leaved exteriors, lurks the dark side of houseplants…

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace Lily Indoor Plants with big leaves

Sergeant Angel’s favourite plant

The peace lily is an elegant and popular houseplant perfect for any home. They are shade-loving and fantastic air purifiers. So what’s not to like?

Try saying Spathiphyllum when your lips, mouth and tongue are swelling and burning. In fact, ingesting a peace lily can result in difficulty speaking altogether (plus it can cause your typical nausea and diarrhoea).

Peace lilies are not true lilies. But that doesn’t make them any safer: calla lilies can be fatal to children if eaten.

Want a peace lily that won’t make you vomit? Me too. So buying an artificial peace lily from Floresy instead might be our best option to stay on speaking terms.

Dark side of houseplants: Ivy

green ivy wreath 33 cm artificial plant

Artificial green white ivy wreath 33cm.

Ivy is poisonous. And I’m not even talking about poison-ivy. English ivy (or Hedera helix as the Greeks would say), is the climbing and spreading plant that’s so synonymous with English gardens. It’s also a popular evergreen plant used in Christmas decorations and has the ability to remove airborne faecal-matter particles. 

But de-pooping the air you’re breathing is merely its altruistic front. Ivy can cause severe skin irritation and eating this plant (but why would you – it sucks in poo particles!?) would cause stupor and convulsions.

Poison ivy is a completely different species of plant that has a similar leaf shape and isn’t actually as poisonous as non-poisonous ivy.

This artificial ivy wreath by Floresy is non-toxic.

 

Philodendron

split leaf philodendron have fantastic foliage

Splendid waxy green leaves of a split leaf philodendron

Philodendrons, including split leaved varieties like the Monstera Swiss Cheese plants, are one of the most popular houseplants.

But beware!

Philodendrons are mildly toxic to humans. They contain calcium oxalate crystals which can cause a rash plus swelling of the mouth and digestive tract if eaten.

Only mildly toxic, I hear you say? For cats and dogs, philodendrons are considerably more dangerous. Philodendron poisoning can cause spasms and seizures for our four-legged friends. Our pets need to be safe from the dark side of houseplants too.

Play it safe and order an artificial philodendron from Floresy today.

Sansevieria

sansevieria front page

Sansevieria display in a grey container

(Oh no, I hear you cry, not sansevieria too!)

Yes, even the lovingly named Mother-in-Law’s Tongue aka Snake Plant aka Devil’s Tongue has a dark side and that is surprising.

But you’ll be relieved to know that sansevieria is only mildly toxic. Most cases only result in minor irritation to the mouth and increased salivation. 

It’s considered to be a lucky plant that can protect your home from evil influences. Like devils, snakes and mothers-in-law perhaps?

Hydrangea

Artificial hydrangea in a pot white by Floresy

White artificial hydrangea in a pot by Floresy

Hydrangeas are popular acidic-soil loving medium sized shrubs found throughout Asia. Their blooms are large, multi-flower balls of colour scent and are a popular cut-flower for florists looking for that wow-factor. 

But they wouldn’t be on this list without a dark side.

Hydrangeas contain cyanide – one of the deadliest poisons known to humans!

Thankfully, it’s in really low amounts so it’s only dangerous to children or pets (what a relief). Cyanide poisoning causes laboured breathing, lethargy, vomiting, stomach pains and coma. Oh, and death.

Avoid death by buying this white artificial hydrangea from Floresy.

So, in summary, to keep you and your houseplants looking and feeling great avoid eating them. There isn’t a dark side of houseplants of every variety but not eating them is a good rule to live by.

We bust 5 common myths about artificial plants. Think artificial plants are fake and tacky? Think again…

Artificial plants look fake

There was a time when fake plants did look fake, it’s true. But that was when they were only found next to a bowl of stale potpourri in the ladies toilets of some shady 1970’s pub. The materials used in modern artificial flowers are far more sophisticated. Most leaves and petals are created using a polyester blend but silk is also used. Polyester fibres can be woven to create soft, textured surfaces that can even fool the touch-test.

Have you seen a Gerbera? The first time I saw a cut flower Gerbera, I thought it was fake. It wasn’t. I couldn’t believe it was real. But these days, I can’t believe artificial plants are fake.

Artificial plants are bad feng shui

The ancient Chinese discipline of interior design centres around the flow of energy through buildings. It’s about achieving a balance of masculine and feminine aspects but also elements such as air and water. You can go as mystical as you like with it but Feng Shui has many underlying principles that just make good design sense.

Because of it’s connection to the natural world, you might think that Feng Shui would reject artificial plants because, well, they’re fake. But many designers actually argue to the contrary. A dead, real plant is seriously bad feng shui. That dried up specimen is going to suck the chi right out of your room.

So if you’re a serial plant killer or if you have an area where maintenance of a real plant would be an issue, artificial plants make great feng shui sense.

Artificial plants are tacky

Maybe the ultimate “tacky” artificial plants are, in fact, the well-loved artificial Christmas tree. Year on year, we get these artificial plants out from storage and display them proudly in our homes and businesses. Why do we love them? Well, they don’t drop their needles, they don’t pose an allergy hazard and no real trees are sacrificed instead.

But an artificial plant that stands like a sentinel in an office or hotel lobby isn’t tacky: it’s stoic. The screen of bamboo that gives privacy to a seating area isn’t tacky: it’s reassuring. And a cheerful hyacinth that greets you as approach a reception desk isn’t tacky: it’s welcoming.

Artificial plants are not as good as real plants

This depends on why you are using plants. If you want to purify the air in your office, artificial plants aren’t as good as real ones (duh). But if you want to add lots of greenery for the mental wellbeing of your staff or visitors without the maintenance overhead, artificial plants aren’t just as good, they are better than real plants.

The best solution is usually a combination of both. Use the artificial where maintenance may be awkward, where the light levels are too low or where the central heating is too high. And add as many real plants as your maintenance plan will allow.

Artificial plants are expensive

One of the odd myths about artificial plants is that they are expensive. As with anything you can spend as much or as little on a product. And you usually get what you pay for. The main difference between buying an artificial plant and a real one is longevity. The artificial plant will remain the same size and in the same, prime condition. In other words, after you got what you paid for, you’ll get it to keep it for longer than a real plant.

If you’re a business looking for a plant maintenance package, consider reading this post on the comparative costs or renting and buying plants first.

Artificial plants represent an investment in your interiors whether you spend £5 or £500.

Most myths about artificial plants are really about personal preference. At Floresy, we know we produce the best range of high-quality artificial plants and trees on the market. Our products are firmly rooted in reality so we’re confident that they will bust any myth thrown at them.

Interior landscaping is an expression in use by many interior designers who work exclusively with indoor planting schemes to describe what they do. You’ve probably heard of landscaping – the physical process of reshaping the land. Hard landscaping refers to structures such as walls, pergolas, patios and even follies. Soft landscaping is the term for the planting within the landscaped garden.

So, interior landscaping is a bit of an oxymoron. Afterall, there isn’t any land to be ‘scaped! Instead, it is the process of adding plants and greenery to work with the angles, dimensions and light inside buildings and internal structures. Perhaps ‘plantscaping‘ or ‘interiorscaping‘ are more accurate terms. All three of these expressions are rather interchangeable with businesses and designers using them to describe their own unique services.

Despite sounding trendy, the term has been in popular use within the industry for a considerable amount of time. The terms emerged in the 1970s following the publication of Richard Gain’s book ‘Interior Plantscaping‘. Some people choose to use the term exclusively for interior spaces will others use them to describe gardens within buildings.

Interior landscaping is the design and possible implementation of a planting scheme that compliments an interior space. It isn’t the maintenance of those plants although some companies will offer both these services. It also is less about a potted plant of your desk but more about structural planting that works directly with architectural details of a building. 

Examples of Interior Landscaping

Done properly, you probably won’t notice that an interior has been ‘plantscaped‘. We expect interiors in hotels, shopping centres or business foyers to have a certain look and feel.

A popular interior feature is the Green Wall or Living Walls. Usually imposing and certainly spectacular, green walls are plants grown vertically such as this example from Biotecture for Centrica’s office in Windsor.

Interior landscaping of a green wall

Interior landscaping includes impressive installations like his green wall

For large interior spaces – those with considerable ceiling height – using tall indoor plants, such as trees can be just as spectacular. Trees are ultimately architectural plants due to their size. And trees indoors certainly have the wow-factor.

Interior trees can be difficult to maintain due to how very, very thirsty they can be. Some have extensive roots systems that extend out from the trunk for almost as far as the tree is tall. So the solution is to use certain species that could be grown in containers. Or, the alternative solution to this problem is to use tall artificial plants and artificial trees indoors.

Faux Artificial interior tree

Bespoke artificial trees match your individual requirements

How does Interior Landscaping benefit me?

Interior landscaping offers the same benefits as any interior styling. Without a planting scheme, a room or building may seem off or cold and clinical. But, hey, if cold and clinical is your brand – go with that. Interiorscaping is more obvious when it is missing. Here are some of the benefits of interior landscaping:

Brand

Help define who you are and what you do from the moment someone walks into your shop or lobby. Plants and their containers can add humour, elegance or even a tropical vibe.

Ambience

The atmosphere is important in any setting. A structured, neat and uniform planting scheme will add a professional and serious note to an office or lobby. Softer planting can help people feel more relaxed and less anxious which is a great thing in a dentists waiting room.

Function

Plants can help define a room’s function: Lines of container plants will define doorways or walkways. Add discretion and privacy to areas for seating and talking by using the plants as screens or room dividers.

Wellness

Many studies conclude how important connection to nature is. It has a direct impact on the overall wellness and happiness of people working in any environment. Plants help add the greenery needed for that connection. The wellness experienced by workers leads to increases in productivity and fewer sick days.

Noice reduction

Big open spaces are echoey. You can help improve the acoustics of large spaces by adding a planting to dampen the sounds. This is great for open-plan offices and hotel lobbies. But also for busy restaurants. Less so for libraries.

Interested in learning more? Check out these posts on the benefits of artificial plants in commercial spaces and biophilic design.

Floresy has an interior landscaping offering as part of our bespoke services. By working closely with you, we will use our knowledge and experience to design a scheme that works for and for your space. Contact us today for more information on how we can help.

 

 

The manufacturers and retailers of bamboo clothing and textiles are singing its praises. They say this wonderfully soft fibre is so eco-friendly, you’re saving the planet just by wearing it. Too good to be true? Probably.

Following our recent blog post on the sustainability of bamboo as a wood alternative, we are looking at bamboo fabric with the same objectivity. So what do we already know about bamboo as a fabric?

  • Bamboo fabric is super soft, strong and lightweight.
  • It has good drape characteristics and allows the skin to breath making it ideal for clothing.
  • Bamboo also imparts it’s absorbent and anti-bacterial properties into its fabric form which is great for medical uses.
  • Plus textiles made from bamboo require less energy to wash and dry than other natural fibres.

Doesn’t that all sound fabulous so far? It almost reads like an advert from a retailer of bamboo clothing…

However, as with any resource or product, we need to look at the entire process – from harvesting to retailing – to understand the impact on the environment. It’s worth noting at this point that nothing has zero impact. When you cut down a tree or harvest a cotton crop there is an energy cost and direct effect on the immediate environment (“Hey, where’s my tree gone?” said the squirrel). Among other things, sustainability considers how that cost is balanced against providing income and education for farm workers and how easy it is to replace or regrow a resource.

Eco-recap on growing bamboo

Whilst there are energy costs associated in its transportation, the production of bamboo can be super-sustainable:

  • It grows at a fast rate, absorbing C02 from the atmosphere as it matures.
  • Growing in its natural environment, bamboo does not require irrigation or pesticides.
  • Bamboo production supports small-scale farming in areas that are too inaccessible for large machinery.
  • It has a larger utilised biomass than cotton i.e. more product per plant per acre.
  • Once harvested, bamboo continues to grow so there is less destruction that leads to soil erosion.

Well, this sounds even better! Bamboo is great to grow and its great to wear. Sign me up!

But between plant and product, there is a significant area that needs exploring before bamboo can claim it’s eco-credentials.

Turning bamboo into fabric

Bamboo is not naturally soft. It’s a hard, woody plant that requires significant processing to turn into a textile. There are two methods for this: chemical and mechanical.

Chemical production of bamboo fabric

Those of you currently wearing any bamboo clothing may wish to slip into something with a higher cotton content whilst reading this.

The leaves and stalks of bamboo are effectively cooked-up in a vat of toxic chemicals including carbon disulfide, chlorine and sulfuric acid. Because it isn’t a closed loop system, the resulting cocktail, that is a risk to the environment, gets into waterways and landfills. Plus, these chemicals pose serious health hazards, including neural disorders, for the workers employed in the manufacture of bamboo fabric using this method.

Great.

This manufacturing process is neither eco-friendly nor sustainable. And it’s this method that produces the silky soft, wearable fabric that gets bamboo all that positive attention.

Mechanical production of bamboo fabric

Good news is that the mechanical method is more eco-friendly than the chemical method (but it would be difficult not to be). The bad news is that it is more expensive. The woody bamboo is crushed and left to ferment in a mushy mess using natural enzymes that break down the fibrous structures. The natural fibres are then mechanically drawn out and spun into yarn. This process is basically the same for making textiles from flax or hemp and the result is a linen-like fabric. It’s labour intensive and produces a low yield of fabric.

The reality is the vast majority of bamboo textile is not organic. Or at least any claim it has in being a truly organic fibre has limitations. Bamboo fibre can be organic – but it’s rare, expensive and unlikely to be fully traceable.

Bamboo and China

Any commodity, where it’s production is overwhelmingly dependant on China is not sustainable. China has one of the most unregulated markets in the world and hardly the best track record on workers rights. Plus a significant pollution problem. So even if bamboo is a better crop for the environment that does not automatically make it sustainable. At least not yet. China is stepping up with new environmental policies, mostly in response to the smog issues across its cities. So perhaps there is hope yet for Chinese bamboo to save us all. If only if wasn’t on the other side of the planet…

Here’s a handy infographic on bamboo

bamboo sustainable infographic

Bamboo infographic

It’s easy to be defeatist. Trying to make good, sustainable choices for our businesses and personal selves sometimes feels impossible. We, as consumers, often only have access to the information that retailers want us to know about their products. The result is we are sometimes left feeling naive, conned or like a failure when we’ve tried so hard to make the right choice.

But the positive in all this is just that – choice. Is bamboo fabric a better choice for the environment than organic cotton from a fair trade source? Maybe, maybe not. Is it better than polyester? Yes. Can bamboo production help protect deforestation in South America? Yes. Is the farming of bamboo across China likely (if not already) to be exploited if the west continues to view bamboo as a magic bullet? Probably. Is it a competition of bamboo vs cotton? No. Is it about making informed decisions? Yes.

The use of bamboo is a step in the right direction. It shows we are looking for alternatives. But bamboo, certainly for European consumers, shouldn’t be considered the final destination of that search. It’s a stepping stone in our journey towards sustainability.