I am one of those people who believe that every room should have flowers in it. From seasonal blooms to simple greens mixed with wildflowers picked from the garden.

Real vs artificial floral arrangements in various vessels

And when your favorite fresh flowers aren’t in season or are hard to come by, what do you do? A faux flower arrangement is the perfect solution. Artificial florals today aren’t the same as the bright-colored, flat-textured flowers of yesteryear.

For one, Balsam Hill has floral arrangements that are so realistic, I’ve had guests try to smell them.

Why Choose Faux Flowers

There are several reasons why you would choose to have faux flowers in your home. But a few main things to consider are realism, the ease of using them, their durability, and the overall cost.


When talking about real vs artificial flowers, of course, you want those flowers to look realistic. Today’s creations are “fabulous faux” and are more popular than ever. From velvety petals to colors that mimic real life, these flowers can fool more and more people.

Real vs faux flowers

This is a real ranunculus next to a faux one. You can see how close they resemble each other, right down to their ruffly layers and warm shade of color.

Ease of Use

Maintenance and ease of use are other things to consider. Faux arrangements just need a bit of fluffing and are easy to display. You can place a vase of gorgeous flowers in your room, and leave it there as long as you want. No water or sun necessary.


It doesn’t need a lot of upkeep to look like you just placed a beautiful fresh bouquet in the guest bedroom (when it was actually last year!). No worries about the hydrangeas wilting or the rose petal’s color fading. With minimal care, artificial flowers can look fabulous for years and years.

Real and faux white hydrangea flowers

These hydrangeas are some of my favorites. And while one is real and looking fresh for the moment, the other looks real and will last and last.


How much they cost is another consideration. A large arrangement of my favorite fresh flowers such as peonies, ranunculus, hellebore, and tulips would add up to $150-$200, depending on the size. Putting that expense into a faux arrangement instead is a one-time investment because you can use it again and again.

Faux peonies vs real peonies

Take these peonies, for instance. Real peonies vs artificial peonies⁠—both ruffly and beautiful. Both a lovely shade and both wonderful to have in the house. But the fresh peonies are currently around $8 each stem, so a bouquet of 25-30 of them will cost somewhere around $200-$240. For that same investment, you can have faux flowers that will last season after season.

Comparing Real vs Artificial Flowers

Today, I’m going to show you a comparison of real and faux florals based on a couple of my favorite Balsam Hill arrangements. I sourced almost all of the same flowers that were in the artificial arrangements, with some out-of-season exceptions and color changes. I then recreated the arrangements with fresh flowers.

Let’s take a closer look at the arrangements I recreated and see how the faux flowers fared when compared to the real ones.

Nantucket Hydrangea

I’m in love with the Nantucket Hydrangea arrangement. A beautiful mix of white hydrangeas, thistle, and greens in a charming galvanized bucket.

Balsam Hill Nantucket Hydrangea Foliage in metal vessel

I recreated the look with fresh white hydrangea, variegated pittosporum, thistle, and white astilbe mostly.

Fresh thistle, lavender, white lilac, white hydrangea, olive branches, yellow berries, and pittosporum

In some of the photos, it is hard to tell which is faux. The artificial hydrangea and pittosporum are incredibly realistic.

White hydrangea flowers
Which one is real and which one is faux?

Pastel Spring Floral

These flowers are all so pretty on their own and even more so when put all together. The Pastel Spring Floral arrangement is a showstopper and looks incredible anywhere you place it.

Comparison of Balsam Hill artificial Peonies, ranunculus, tulips, and hellebore with real flowers

The mix and mingle of these pretty blooms absolutely makes you think of spring. And what I love most about this arrangement is how incredibly close in appearance the sunshine-filled faux flowers are to the real ones.

Side by side comparison of Balsam Hill artificial flowers and real fresh flowers

To recreate the arrangement, I used real blush peonies, green and white hellebores, pink tulips, as well as yellow and orange ranunculi.

Fresh blush peonies, green and white hellebores, pink tulips, and yellow and orange ranunculus

You can see how detailed the layers of petals on the artificial peonies are. They’re truly ruffle-filled beauties.

Close up of artificial peony flower by Balsam Hill
Spring flowers in vases
Which one is real and which one is faux?

French Market Floral

The French Market Floral arrangement feels like one that was gathered from a flower garden and is perfect all year long.

Balsam Hill French Market Floral Arrangement

This arrangement is in a little basket but comes in several styles, all full of blooms.

Fresh thistle, lavender, white lilac, white hydrangea, olive branches, yellow berries, and pittosporum

I used fresh thistle, lavender, white lilac, white hydrangea, olive branches, yellow berry, and pittosporum to recreate the arrangement.

Arrangement with fresh thistle, lavender, white lilac, white hydrangea, olive branches, yellow berries, and pittosporum
Flower arrangements in weave box baskets
Which one is real and which one is faux?

Purple Peony Wreath

This peony and hydrangea wreath is one of the prettiest wreaths out there. It’s absolutely perfect for your front door, a cupboard, or anywhere you want to add a lovely bit of beauty.

Balsam Hill artificial purple Peony Flower Wreath

To recreate the look, I used fresh pink and green hydrangeas, peony, Queen Anne’s lace, and maidenhair fern.

Fresh hydrangeas in pink and green, peonies, Queen Anne's Lace, and maidenhair fern

This was one of the arrangements that I was not able to get specific flowers and colors for at this time of year. Which is another good point as to why a faux wreath or arrangement is a good investment. You can enjoy those out-of-season flowers you love all year long.

Wreath with fresh hydrangeas in pink and green, peonies, Queen Anne's Lace, and maidenhair fern

Even with the missing dahlias and darker peonies, you can see that the faux hydrangeas look just like the real ones⁠—and they won’t wilt.

Peony wreaths
Which one is real and which one is faux?

So in each of these recreations, you can see how closely the Balsam Hill faux flowers match the real ones. And why they are perfect for adding a beautiful touch to your home all year long.

Comparison of Balsam Hill lifelike artificial flowers and real flowers

Which is your favorite real vs artificial flower comparison? Let me know in the comments.

To learn more about lifelike faux flowers and arrangements, visit this post.

Courtney of French Country Cottage

As the founder of lifestyle blog French Country Cottage and editor of Romantic Homes magazine, Courtney is known for bringing chic aesthetics and vintage elegance to her designs. Courtney offers readers creative ideas and decorating tips inspired by the ongoing renovations on her 1940s cottage home.

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