Alas, I have no more clarity on this pressing matter as there were really good points on both sides.
Mary Bunten said she was hesitant to write her feelings because she doesn’t want to seem like a “crank.”
“If I were to weigh in, however, I’d say that silk flowers are yucky,” she wrote. “They remind me of a gas station restroom. Real flowers are a luxury. Silk flowers are tawdry.”
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She thinks fake stuff in general should be avoided and is embarrassed for people who hang fake wreaths on their doors.
“Don’t they know that’s kitsch? How can they like them?” she wonders. “But lots of people do, nice people, people I care about. And who am I to criticize their taste? I don’t want to be a crank.”
My neighbor Matt Levi agreed in a text message. “I say no. Artificial flowers are like toupees: They never fool anyone, and no one cleans them.”
Toni Gelpi offered several thoughts:
▪ It is hard to find good-quality silk flowers for a reasonable price.
▪ Many of today’s gals (or guys) don’t have enough design sense to arrange flowers.
(OK, here’s a tutorial.)
▪ Then there is the problem of storage and dusting. If you do an arrangement for a season, what do you do with it the rest of the year? And remember when they sold that aerosol stuff to clean them? Young people aren’t going to do that.
Elaine Creaden of Lawrence was among those who wrote in to support silk flowers and sent pictures of several seasonal arrangements.
“My summer one is bright colors, and fills the space by my front door. Folks always like them,” she writes. “My favorite time of year is autumn, so I am looking forward to using the fall silk flowers combined with the dried real plants. Looks very nice.”
Michelle Stark Kaufman confessed that “in the not-so-distant past, one or more silk flower arrangements may have been, ahem, spotted in my home. But as my home decor taste evolved, and I traded laminate countertops for granite in my 100-plus-year-old house, the faux arrangements started to seem a bit tacky and out of place.”
Kaufman continued that, when she buys fresh flowers every few weeks, they give her much more pleasure and look much better than “the (what now seem) rather sad and static silk arrangements.”
One exception, she added, are her powder room walls. Kaufman coated several of the old silk flowers with a dozen coats of glossy white spray paint to resemble enamel or ceramic flowers and attached them to the walls to resemble 3-D wallpaper.