When you want a lush effect, but don’t have time for trees or foliage to grow, then faux is the way to go.
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For those who need privacy or greenery in a hurry, faux foliage is the answer. Available with different leaves and in a variety of natural shades, it’s usually supplied by the square metre. As it doesn’t need to be watered or trimmed, it’s ideal for a water-wise garden. Choose products that are guaranteed UV-resistant so they don’t fade and look lush and green all year round. Good-quality products should last five to 10 years. Smaller projects, such as cladding a wall or fence, can be handled by the average DIYer. Just follow the supplier’s instructions. However, if it involves hedging and privacy screens where a framework is required, it’s best to consult a professional.
1. To break this large expanse of white boundary wall and minimise the reflected glare, Easy Ivy installed an ornate steel trellis and lined it with faux red leaves as a contrast to the greenery.
In front, they arranged three pots containing fake buxus topiary balls, which need no clipping or watering.
2. Artificial foliage is the perfect way to camouflage an ugly, but necessary feature, such as this water tank.
“First, we wrapped the tank in galvanised steel mesh,” explains Pam Sachs of Leaf and Living. “Then we used cable ties to attach ivy leaf hedging to it so that it blends in with the garden wall.”
3. As this pool area in Jo’burg was overlooked by the neighbours, Wayne Becker of Easy Ivy raised the height of the wall using trellis backed with faux ‘Laura Bont’ foliage.
“It blends perfectly with the real trees in the raised planter in front,” says Wayne. Excessive shade here also meant that nothing grew. To give it a lush look, Easy Ivy also placed a fake hedge around the water feature and replaced the patchy grass with fake lawn. “It looks beautiful all year round, requires little to no maintenance and was quick and easy to install,” says Wayne.
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4. To screen the commercial property below, Candice Koller of CW Interiors had faux buxus hedging from Easy Ivy installed on the balcony of this duplex.
Requiring no maintenance, the green forms a link to the trees beyond, drawing the eye out to the view and hiding the eyesore below.
5. “Coming from Durban where everything is lush and green, I was desperate for the same effect here,” says Gill Scott of Jo’burg.
To green up her courtyard, the walls were clad with UV-treated Privet by Andy Scrivener of Distinctive Spaces. This gives the area depth, draws the eye upwards and makes it appear larger. “The layering of the artificial foliage and the existing palm trees makes it look more authentic,” explains Andy.
6. To create privacy for this courtyard, eugenias were planted in raised beds along a boundary wall.
While they grow and bush out, Distinctive Spaces clad the raised beds with artificial buxus hedging. “The only maintenance required is to water and trim the eugenias every season, and yet the effect is beautifully green,” explains Andy Scrivener.
Andy Scrivener of Distinctive Spaces offers this advice for using faux foliage:
1. Use it to hide an unsightly wall or to create a border.
2. It’s suitable for pool areas as it doesn’t shed leaves and makes an excellent privacy screen.
3. For best results, install foliage on a steel, rust-proof base.
4. If you have an irrigation system, first establish the position of the pipes so that you don’t install artificial foliage over them.