The importance of boxwood foliage

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In today’s blog entry we will discuss the importance boxwood foliage has on landscaping. Boxwood has been a staple in the landscape community for centuries. Dating all the way back to the medieval days, boxwood can be seen on the lawns of many high-born palaces and castles. This has trickled down to boxwood being found in many celebrities homes on the inside and outside. It has also gone so far as to being predominantly found on the red carpet of many award shows. When watching the Grammy's or Emmy's next time make sure to keep an eye out for greenery. More likely than not it will be a boxwood foliage decorating the area and used as a backdrop for all those pictures being taken. Even at sporting events you will find boxwood being used as a decor piece. The U.S. open and European Soccer events use boxwood a lot in their pre-game and postgame warm-up areas. A lot of this is due to the calming presence boxwood is able to bring through its traditional yet modern appeal. To go along with modern appeal, many fashion designers and fashion companies use boxwood foliage for their displays and events. Fashion is always one step ahead of trends, and the fact that the use of boxwood is so rampant among those inner circles speaks volumes to the impact this foliage can have. You will see more and more boxwood foliage I’m sure just after reading this entry, and that is because it will be on your mind plus it is almost everywhere. Most of the time in the examples we just went over authentic boxwood was used. Now authentic boxwood is great because one, it’s real. Secondly, it is very dense and that is hard to replicate many times especially with larger boxwood hedges and walls. Authentic boxwood can also be poisonous and dangerous for many pets including dogs, cats, and especially horses who will begin to graze on it until it is too late. Real boxwood foliage can also have a mind of its own in terms of growth which makes it extremely difficult to maintain. With all that being said you can tell how people would like an alternative to the real thing, if it can be just as real. When looking at artificial boxwood it is clear to see that it is just as real, while providing even more benefits to what is already a great product. Artificial boxwood is a long-lasting solution to authentic plants who have a very short life. Yes, you can keep plants healthy and full of growth for many years but the cost of doing that will be enormous. From the labor involved in pruning, watering, and trimming the plant you are looking at thousands of dollars spent and even more in the sweat of the individuals doing the work. With artificial boxwood hedges the only maintenance that is truly required is when you first set up your landscape. After that, there is nothing that really needs to be done. The foliage maintains itself and you may want to ruffle it out from time to time, but besides that there is quite honestly nothing more that needs to be done. As you can see that is one of the biggest benefits for having faux boxwood foliage used in commercial and residential settings. With authentic foliage the work alone would be too much to bear for a single household, especially if it is used in a large landscape design. For commercial buildings or businesses looking to use this as a decoration piece for both indoors and outdoors, the maintenance can be very costly Artificial boxwood means that you are freed from those burdens and can enjoy the presence of your products without the hassle. Artificial boxwood foliage is also extremely realistic, so for all the naysayers who think that authentic is the only option… Think again. We at Commercial Silk International have been perfecting our foliage for 30+ years and it is shown in our life-like foliage material. There are highly skilled botanists on staff who are well versed in everything related to the plants. From the petiole to the blade we have the crafted a near perfect replica of the authentic foliage especially made for you to place in your landscape. Realism is very important to many of the people who decide to buy our products, but protection is also a main concern when people look into switching to artificial plants. That is why we have come up with innovative technologies to help protect your plants for the long haul. Artificial plants already inherently come with standard protection against UV rays, but there is no guarantee and when you are placing these products in states like Texas and Florida it can fade rather quickly. That is why PermaLeaf® is used in many of the products we build for outdoor use. PermaLeaf® is our proprietary blend of chemicals that are used to protect these plants from virtually anything weather throws at it. If you live in the bitter cold you made be worried about the foliage becoming brittle in extreme temperatures. With this blend of chemicals that is no longer an issue. If you are worried about the fading of material when exposed to intense sunlight and height, then stop. PermaLeaf® is a trusted and well respected technology that has been used for products sold to big companies such as Disney, Universal Studios, and Bass Pro Shop. Another patented technology we can provide to you while you are going through the design process is ThermaLeaf®. With ThermaLeaf® the artificial foliage and plants you purchase become fire-retardant. What does that mean? Well every state has their own set of fire codes and we have come up with a technology that makes it easy for these to be passed. ThermaLeaf® can be added to any foliage to make it inherently fire-retardant, which means it will continue to be safe in the event of a fire outbreak. Artificial plants that lack this technology will burst into flames, and potentially cause more damage than was originally intended. This is why ThermaLeaf® is highly recommended for anyone who plans on using artificial plants indoors.

Vertical Gardens

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In today’s entry we will focus on the latest trend in today’s design, vertical gardens. For the past couple of years you may have seen these works of art sprouting up more and more, and that is because they are becoming the new modern art form in terms of greenery and lush foliage. With vertical gardens you can create a landscape that turns drab walls into a living and breathing masterpiece, using all sorts of artificial foliage. You can mix traditional faux boxwood with a more modern fake ivy foliage to embrace both the old in new. The possibilities are endless and with Commercial Silk International’s line of artificial foliage you will have a faux wall garden that is long-lasting and most importantly easy t o maintain for years. The best part of our design team is that we are not only limited to mats of our foliage in making these vertical gardens, we can create them out of all of our faux plant products. You can easily build a green wall using artificial philodendron leaves or fake palm fronds to bring a more exotic look to your office space or home.

Let us explore the different ways you can vertical gardens in your garden or home to create a more contemporary or homestyle feel, whichever you prefer. A simple way to utilize our artificial foliage and have a place to hang them on a vertical structure is to use recycled pallet boxes. These simple crates that lay around collecting dust can become a major art piece by just attaching artificial mat rolls and hedges to their wooden panels. It is simple and yet an effective way to use an existing substrate as a wall piece without damaging your actual wall. Our suggestion would be to zip tie the mats to the wood (no worries, the foliage will cover up the ties) and then once they are attached you can then hang the palettes wherever you would like.

We at Commercial Silk International have come up with other substrate solutions to help you as you plan to build a vertical garden with artificial foliage. One of the most simple ways and one we use more often than not is galvanized steel as a screen. For building mat walls we simply take the artificial boxwood hedge foliage and attach it to the steel so there is a nice rigid backing. This allows for the substrate to withstand any amount of wind if you place it outside, and also can be helpful if you are not wanting to attach to a wall indoors. We also have foam substrates for vertical walls that may only be used temporary. This is our most economical option and allows you to move the wall, however big it is, with relative ease because of it’s lightweight nature. Our other substrate option is natural wood, much like the palette suggestion we mentioned above. With natural wood you can evoke a more “authentic” vibe.

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Building a vertical garden from scratch could be difficult, especially if you are basing your ideas off of gardens scene in more modern cities like Tokyo. When you begin to look into building an artificial green wall you must first start with the type of foliage you want. What we suggest is to always throw in some sort of faux pearl grass variety, whether it be light or dark. Artificial pearl grass tends to be more wispy and airy allowing for a more ethereal feel when added to other types of foliage. Our faux boxwood foliage is something we have discussed many times throughout this blog, but again it is the most traditional and recognizable foliage type and is a great complimentary piece. Artificial juniper, azalea, and ivy all can be used within vertical garden design as well and if you are able to use all of these then you have truly found the sweet spot for creating true art.

Maybe you’re thinking “This all sounds great, but how do artificial plants and foliage survive outside”? Protection against the outside elements is crucial for any type of faux foliage being made into a vertical garden or green wall. PermaLeaf, our proprietary blend of chemicals, is the answer we have come up for all of our major commercial Customers like Disney and Universal Studios. This chemical blend has been tested through and through and has been studied extensively to ensure that when applied, our foliages don’t fade in the sun or grow brittle in the cold. This allows you the peace of mind of making a vertical garden for the outdoors.

If you are an interior designer then keeping your vertical wall as safe as possible is of highest priority. Fro many states there are fire codes you must abide to in regards to having artificial plants within a closed space. With ThermaLeaf, our other famous chemical blend, we ensure that the artificial foliage and plants you purchase for your faux green wall will be fire-resistant and impervious to random fire outbreaks. This is crucial to ensuring that your space is safe so definitely keep this in consideration if you are using a vertical garden for indoor use.

So we have gone into depth on how vertical gardens have become a huge trend in artificial plant design. You can use almost any type of substrate for your design, and we have some options as well, but being creative is what is most important. Understanding the faux foliage varieties is another part that must be looked into as you think about the actual design. Some foliages work well with each other and some don’t, so as we continue on this blog we will hit on a couple of those and explain it in more depth. Finally, the 2 different kinds of treatments to be applied to your artificial plants is crucial for you to look into as you begin designing so you can keep the green wall long-lasting and safe for everyone you looks upon it. Hopefully all this information will help you as you continue to research faux plants and foliage and continue your personal design process.

Two simple steps to help jumpstart the design process

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In this blog entry we will be looking at the specific steps to building a decorative landscape using just artificial boxwood foliage. There are endless options when you use artificial compared to authentic plants, and as we have explained in earlier blogs the benefits far outweigh the cons. When using artificial boxwood products you can choose from building a dimensional hedge, to crafting a green wall with endless types of foliage varieties that quite literally make a work of art. With all these different options available to you it may seem hard to even begin the design process. Interior designers that are reading this and have read blogs in the past may even be confused if they have not dealt with artificial boxwood product before. No need to fear, we at Commercial Silk International can help and have the most capable project managers on board to deal with those hard-to-answer questions. With so many foliage types as well as products that they can be fashioned into, it can be overwhelming. But for every question there is simple answer, so let us not wait any longer and get into some simple steps to help your design process that much smoother.

Step 1. Pick your foliage variety

At Commercial Silk we have a variety of foliages and product types that at first can seem daunting, but after this you should have a better idea of what you are looking for. Let’s first start with our most popular artificial foliage types, these are what your final product will be made out of and each comes with their own set of specific characteristics. Of course our most popular foliage type is the classy and traditional boxwood, which many customers opt to use due to it’s popularity and recognizability. You can build anything out of artificial boxwood, from elephants to spiral topiaries. It is the versatile and famous variety type, but it is not the most trendy s we will begin to see. Ivy, pearl grass (light and dark), juniper, and azalea (pink and white) are all of our other most popular foliages and are just as versatile as artificial boxwood. Juniper is a very popular choice lately as it has been on an upwards trend in terms of contemporary style and what is “hot” in the early 2000s. Faux pearl grass is more wispy foliage variety which makes it unique since it is not as dense as the other types. Many customers use this as part of their artificial green wall which makes for unique display coupled with the other foliage types. Ivy and juniper are more modern styles that tend to be more popular in eastern countries, but have been great replacements from the same old artificial boxwood foliage. Azalea is our color variety as you can choose between pink and white, and as such offer more than the other popular types. If you are designing for a wedding and want to build artificial azalea hedges, screens, wall mats, etc. then this is a great option. It provides class while adding color and is definitely more of a modern foliage type. Knowing the foliage types is definitely a must if you want to cover all the bases during the design process, so we hope this helps you have a better understanding of what we offer and how they will fit in your plans.

Step 2. Identify your theme

With all these foliage types you can build all sorts of products so when choosing what you want to build looking at the theme of the party or event is a must. If it is a black tie black dress affair, artificial boxwood foliage will most likely be your safest bet. It is the epitome of classiness and it is easily recognized by almost anyone even if they have no knowledge of foliage or plants. If you are having just a get together for a big event or a housewarming party, then something like a juniper hedge or privacy screen will be suitable enough to show sophistication while also bringing more a modern vibe. As stated before, if you have a wedding you can use azalea to bring out a modern feel and also add a dash of color. The best part of using azalea for wedding decor is that you can use the white flower variety with almost any color, which will make it a whole lot easier to create and design the final product. If you are a business looking at adding life to the walls of your building to give employees and clients something pleasant to look at, any of these foliage varieties will do the trick. However, many businesses tend to go with some sort of mat wall or art piece such as a green wall, and in that case you don’t have to limit yourself to one variety. The theme of your business may not correspond with the product, but adding art with a green wall that has a mix of faux ivy, juniper, and pear grass will sure make the space open up and become more alive. These are just some of the themes that may be running through your mind as you continue down the design process, but hopefully this got your mind rolling and gave good insight into what artificial foliage types work best for certain types of themes.

These two short yet effective steps will help you as you begin to look into artificial plant foliage products and their uses within your landscape design. With the endless amount of varieties we carry at Commercial Silk International there is no doubt you will find the exact products you need to match your design, as well as the perfect foliage type to make your theme really spark. When you know the theme of what your event, wedding, business should be it is a lot easier to make decisions on foliage and the products they will be made into. We did not go into much depth of the different products and how they work for different events, but we will in due time. As we continue this blog series there will be more and more effective steps to help you during the design process, so stay tuned.

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Commercial Silk Int'l
Commercial Silk Int'l