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Is it ever ex­cus­able to dis­play fake flow­ers rather than real ones? I live in a city flat and can’t wan­der into the gar­den with a trug to cut fresh blooms or pick blos­som at dawn from the hedgerow, and there are times when buy­ing from the florist is be­yond my bud­get. Fake flow­ers could fill that gap, per­haps?

An­swer in brief: cho­sen care­fully and used with dis­cre­tion, ar­ti­fi­cial flow­ers are a sen­si­ble and lovely op­tion. There is no shame in a vase of faux flow­ers. They have come a long way from crude plastic stems and dusty, felted leaves. In­te­rior de­signer Abi­gail Ah­ern (abi­gaila­h­ern.com), for ex­am­ple, cham­pi­ons ar­ti­fi­cial flow­ers and her range of wilder-look­ing blooms, in­clud­ing hops, mi­mosa and mossy branches, are lovely and nat­u­ral-look­ing. Nep­tune (nep­tune.com) has all man­ner of re­al­is­tic flower stems, in­clud­ing white and dusty coloured roses, ra­nun­cu­lus and mag­no­lia, as well as twigs and sprays that can be used alone or com­bined with fresh flow­ers to plump up a bou­quet.

Faux hy­drangeas, £19 per stem, nep­tune.com

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