Garden Beet works with artificial plants everyday. We know what happens to an artificial garden screen when it is located outdoors. Our experience has shown that not all unreal plants look the same in say 2 years time, let alone 5 years.
Artificial plants have come a long way recently. It is almost unreal how believable an indoor plant can look.
But be aware.
Many outdoor grade plastic plants can look shabby, very quickly. Particularly in Australia's harsh climate.
Garden Beet shall discuss artificial potted plants and the great Australian outdoors in the next article. This article will focus on artificial screens.
ARTIFICIAL VERTICAL GARDEN SCREENS
Over the last 3 or so years people are realising the difficulty of maintaining a vertical garden. On a daily basis customers come into our Preston Store and describe their struggle with keeping real plants alive in their vertical garden. And if its not their vertical garden its their neighbours .
Ten years ago Garden Beet was busy explaining the concept of vertical gardening to the BBC in London. Now Garden Beet is listening to the problems vertical gardeners face in Australia. This struggle comes as no surprise.
We struggled to create vertical gardens that looked lush, green and full - and we were dedicated to the gardening cause. If we were struggling how were the Mum's and Dad's and cafe owners going to cope ?
For some time we thought vertical gardening was just a fad. We are now confident that it is a gardening style to stay.
Garden Beet understands there is a strong desire to have plants growing on walls. After all cities are growing and medium density housing is increasing. And there is a strong human desire to live with plants. This phenomena is explained by Biophilia (refer to our Junglfy Article for more details)
People want to cover their walls and fences with plants but the maintenance requirements make it difficult to do well.
Turning to an artificial plant product is one solution. But that solution can not be applied to every outdoor garden situation.
Why? Because Australia has a very harsh sun.
If you are about to install an artificial garden on a fence or a wall take note of the sun. If your vertical surface is facing west or north with no shade be aware the number of artificial vertical panels available to you are reduced.
The new generation of artificial vertical gardens are touted as outdoor grade with 5 year warranties. Look carefully at these warranties. How much fading do the warranties allow?
Garden Beet has been testing over 10 different artificial garden screens on one of Melbourne's harshest road corridors. The test site is our very own building located at 30 St Georges Road, Preston.
The gardens are exposed to the western sun without any shadow for 365 days a year. Life for an outdoor artificial screen of plants does not get much harsher anywhere in the urban world.
Our research shows that some outdoor grade artificial screens will fade - albiet slightly. Sometimes it is just one or two species in a panel nevertheless we have found some customers are motivated to change the product they originally came into buy.
We encourage you to come into store and see the changes for yourself.
Garden Beet knows from experience which artificial garden screen varieties are more stable in Australia's harshest outdoor condition.
Before you invest money in artificial plants for an outdoor garden do some research and make sure you are comfortable with how much a plant screen may fade.