I use silk flowers. Faux what? ;-)
My "rules" when using silk flowers in decorating?
* Think natural, so no blue silk roses.
* Think about what's in season. If it's been growing outside in your region lately, then fake it with a good silk imitation.
* Add natural elements as much as possible. We have a sycamore and a birch in our back yard that are always dropping small branches. I gather them to make the display look more natural and they add HEIGHT without adding BULK. And they are freeeeee.
Here's a closer look.
Sunflowers - fake but we're the Sunflower State
Ginko branches - fake but ginkos do grow here
Autumn leaves - fake but I chose silk oak leaves
Pine cones - real
Bare tree branches - picked 'em up from my own back yard
Floral foam makes flower arranging so much easier. Since I'm a cheapskate, I'll stuff plastic grocery bags around a block of foam to keep it steady in a large container.
Another tip: When making a globe display of a single flower, the puke green foam will probably show through.
So I spray paint the foam ball black first. Just stick it on a skewer and give it a good dose of black spray paint.
After I've used the foam blocks once or twice, they don't hold flowers anymore. I don't throw them away yet because they are great for holding really small objects. Like screws.
Over time, those tiny white screws that hold light switch plates start to lose their white paint. Oh, I know you can buy new screws. But that involves a trip to the hardware store where I might be tempted by NEW projects. So I just press the worn screws into a old piece of floral foam, give them a couple of coats of white spray paint and they are as good as new. And I don't have to clean the spray paint from under my fingernails.