Not a gardener am I.
My thumb is not green,
And I am not keen
On keeping plants alive.
There are two things in this world at which I seem to consistently and miserably fail: baking and maintaining plants. Even the cookies you buy pre-made at the grocery—ya know, the ones you tear apart and put on a baking sheet and stick in the oven?—get burned every time I try to make them. We won't even start on when I actually attempt to do "real" baking. And every plant I've ever put roots to ground has withered and died. Which is sort of creepy, but we won't read too much into that.
I decided to get "faux" real and sprung for some blooms at Hobby Lobby when their floral department went 50% off. Suh-weet! I love roses and the big purple ones were pretty and of course I had to get some hydrangeas because I adore those flowers, but can never have them in the house or yard because they're poisonous when ingested. My three dogs and two old cats don't know this, however, so it'd likely be certain death if I ever planted these babies in our vicinity. (Though I don't think they are fatal to humans. Wait, don't quote me on that.)
The photo above shows you what I was working with. Literally anything was an improvement to that sad, despairing plant! I yanked it out and gave it an unceremonious burial in the trash can, loosened up the dirt and went to work.
First, I wiped off the "Merry Christmas" that was still scrabbled across the front of my pot. (I made this with some simple painter's top and chalkboard paint. Easiest craft ever, wham bam done.) I couldn't think of anything very seasonal for January or February, so "welcome" it was.
Next, I pulled out my strongest pair of wire cutting pliers and just about popped a vein in my neck trying to trim down these bad boys. The stems come long so you can cut them to your liking, but they all have thick wires running through them. I found that if you bend the stem back and forth after you make a dent with the pliers, it usually snaps in half. That genius realization only occurred after I'd made it through several stems, of course.
Finally I arranged everything in the pot until I was happy. The greenery looks very realistic in person and brightens up the arrangement, in my opinion, and I like the added height. In the small glass vase in the lower right of the photo above I stuck a few faux thistles, as a tribute to our year in Scotland. (It's the national flower there and they are truly everywhere. No seriously, check out my post here about our venture to a castle near where we lived for a photo of a real live thistle. )
Above is the finished result on my unswept patio that was only recently de-Christmased. It's been slow going 'round these parts with my quadruplet-induced nausea, and I'll play the pregnancy card for every windblown leaf on my porch and unwashed dish in my sink. But at least my flowers will always be pretty and perky and never in need.