|By Louie Volpe
Over the years I have learned that by using live foliage and fruits in my home decorating plans, while beautiful, will only give me decorations with a short lifespan. This is fine for parties, dinners and other short-term projects. But I want to enjoy my Holiday decorations for a while. I like to put them up early, and they always tend to stay up longer than they should! So I have begun to use faux (fabric) foliage and flowers in my decorations.
The manufacturers of faux foliage are finally creating good looking and, in many cases, realistic fakes. I'm always on the lookout for the better fakes. I especially like to use the kinds that have "rubberized" leaves. These are leaves (or petals) that have a rubber coating or finish on them. Sometimes on one side, sometimes on both. This usually gives a nice finish to the leaves and makes then look more realistic. Also look for leaves that have strong plastic or wire veins.
The garlands I have chosen for this project has the rubber-ish finish on some of the leaves. The fruit and vegetables are also rubberized. They seem to be made of a type of Styrofoam that has been covered with a rubberize finish. Again this is my personal preference. You can use any type and look of foliage that you prefer. I also saw a nice selection of beaded fall vegetables at my local craft shop. The beaded veggies would make an elegant addition if you were looking for a more formal feel or even for a dinner party.