Artificial plants take root

By Maroussia Dubreuil

Posted today at 6:00 p.m., updated at 6:00 p.m.

For ten years, high-end models of artificial plants have replaced the faded rhododendrons and the washed-out chrysanthemums of cemeteries.

For my birthday, I received a bouquet of 39 tulips. The count was good … But cutting the stems at an angle, I felt a slight resistance. My flowers were plastic! There followed a long awkward silence which my friend, the sharp type under all circumstances, cut short with a shocking argument – “It’s more ecological! “ – before embarking on a demonstration: first, these tulips are not full of pesticides. Deusio, made in China, they traveled by boat… which makes them less polluting than natural flowers imported (90% of them by plane) from Kenya, Ethiopia or Colombia. Third, they are water efficient.

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In the evening, face to face with my false liliaceae, relieved to know that I would never have their death on my conscience if I forgot to change the water in the vase, I remained in the grip of doubt … How does a plastic flower could it be less harmful than a natural flower? With the firm intention of clearing things up, I retrieved the wrapping for my bouquet from the trash. “A garden on the city, specialist in artificial flowers and plants”, indicated the label. A few days later, I decide to go to the store.

“There is nothing green here! “

It is a chic sign of the 16e arrondissement, a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées. An oasis as luxuriant as it is neat with boxwood, moles, bamboos, eucalyptus, ficus, roses, peonies, orchids… I find my tulips there! “Ecological?, repeats after me the owner of the place, Frédérique Frémeau, widening her eyes. Everything is in Tergal… There is nothing green here! Despite everything, I am taking advantage of the environmental trend: for ten years, everyone has wanted green. ” Its artificial plants (PA for close friends) have the merit of vegetating wherever it does not grow: backyards, garbage outlets, seasonal rentals or even air-conditioned offices. “In Villepreux, in the Yvelines, to hide the 20-meter-high relay antenna, they put a fake sequoia… Not stupid, eh? “

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According to the study of Swedish environmental psychology professor Terry A. Hartig, it is enough to show photographs of a wooded area to distill hormones of happiness. By deduction, a view of a false corner of nature produces the same effect… Since this scientific publication on the American Psychological Association’s website in 2001, the affair has taken a political turn. Can the artificial, in certain circumstances, have an ecological advantage over the natural? Intolerant of dead trees, the mayor (PS) of Nantes, Johanna Rolland, planted, in December 2020, an artificial tree 100% human energy … Her Christmas tree is inspired by pixel tree in vogue in the United States: when an citizen pedals on one of the eight electric-generating bicycles, the ribbons that dress the central pole light up.

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