I’ve spotted them in cafes, restaurant lobbies, spas, churches, hospitals. They sit in plastic pots filled with plastic earth or plastic water in plastic vases. They might trick you from a distance, but when you get closer you see they’re artificial. They bloomed out of polyester, glue and paint. Real water and sun might damage or discolour them.
I stumbled upon fake flowers not only in Liverpool, but across other places in Britain. I have seen them before in Romania but not nearly as often as here.
Flowers are one of the things that make me stop on the street and wonder. I admire and take photos of them. I close my eyes and smell them, I touch their leaves. I like to see a beautiful garden and wish to have one myself.
I was in the changing room of a pool, drying my hair. In front of the mirror; two enticing purple orchids. The possibility of smelling something nice after all the chlorine brought my nose closer to the flowers, only to discover they are plastic. I felt cheated. I looked at the bare walls and wondered why not use photos or paintings of flowers instead? I wouldn’t be expecting them to smell.
Why do businesses use phoney flowers? What does this say about them? They want the place to look good for their customers but at the same time they don’t want to make too much effort. In my experience, fake flowers suggest disappointing service: the food was too expensive, the pool was too small, the staff weren’t friendly and so on.
Near the train station in Manchester, there’s is a small caffe, with small white tables, comfy chairs and interesting magazines.. A friendly puppy barks and shakes his tale for new comers and young people with a kind smile serve you with good well priced coffee and sparkly rose lemonade. When the departure time to Liverpool approached, as I was going towards the door, I spotted a vase with white chrysanthemums. Real chrysanthemums.
The fake flowers become dust magnets. The plastic used to make them could have been made into something useful like a laundry basket, a Kindle, a travelling cup, a pen or a water bottle. Or a mannequin being looked at by thousands of passersby, wearing different dresses each season.
Having plastic flowers on the table is like sitting in a cafe with a mannequin.
Photo of Everton Park, Liverpool