Given these economic times, I'm finding it harder and harder to buy things that don't last a lifetime. One of my favorite splurges in the past has been to treat myself to an orchid from Winston Flowers. If you live in the Boston area, Winston's is the premier florist (http://www.winstonflowers.com/). Not only are their flowers incredibly fresh, but their varieties are often more unique than other florists, they last much longer than the average arrangement, and they have interesting cachepots to highlight them.
However, if you have a brown thumb like me, the purchase lasts only as long as it's meant to. I used to replace my orchids every 3-4 months, but replacing orchids every 3-4 months can get expensive. A few years ago, I discovered a small shop called Blossoms in Newton Highlands (http://www.blossomsnewton.com/). They specialize in faux flowers and custom faux arrangments. They also carry a great selection of containers, and the owners, Tom and Jan, can make a faux arrangement look as beautiful as a real one.
So rather than replacing all of my dead orchids on a quarterly basis, I started using Blossoms' orchids in secondary spaces, such as upstairs hallways, bathrooms and bedrooms. And to stretch the investment, I typically give Tom and Jan my old Winston's cachepots to put the faux orchids in.
Can you tell the difference??