Replicas at Pump Restaurant Lounge were recently installed by our Plantscapers team to complete the distinctive, eclectic design that makes this establishment its “own little island” off of Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills.
Make no mistake, the replicas at Pump Restaurant Lounge are simply gorgeous. Despite the foliage being silk, these replicas look absolutely real. Olive and ficus trees, along with pink hydrangeas, add a romantic touch to this fine dining business owned by celebrities Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd.
Both inside and outside, the replicas add to the beautiful Mediterranean atmosphere. Plantscapers put in 18 individual 5 foot replica olive trees throughout the property. These replica olive trees might have silk branches and leaves, but their trunks are made from real olive trees. Paired against reclaimed wood, the olive trees enhance the restaurant’s French countryside feel, a fanciful getaway from the streets of Beverly Hills just outside its walls.
The patio is surrounded by nine 100 year old live olive trees that twinkle at night with lighted lanterns hanging from their limbs.
One of the ancient olive trees died due to insufficient light. During the winter months, a giant canvas is pulled out to cover the whole patio for warmth. Though the cover is beneficial for keeping customers warm, some of the trees suffer with the canvas blocking much needed light the trees require to live. With replicas, lighting is not necessary. Instead of replacing the dead tree with another costly one that would eventually die, Plantscapers’ designers suggested recreating it with replicas.
After the dead pieces of the tree were removed, silk leaves were inserted into the ancient olive trunk. Holes were drilled into it to hold the branches. Though highest quality silk is always sought to match the color of the original trees’ leaves, the art to recreating with replicas is made through flocking.
We explained every branch that went into the ancient olive tree came out flat from the box. Each of the 24 dozen branches we used on the tree had to be bent and shaped in what is called flocking, to make it look like real branches. This is the key to making silk believable and beautiful. Though the quality of the silk needs to be very high end so when it is shaped, it looks real; yet if not flocked properly, silk branches, no matter the quality, can really look obvious.
In order to find the perfect color match for the ancient olive, we had to spend some time searching through many different trees. Not all manufactured silk plants are alike, so besides the hours spent flocking and installing the replicas, many hours were spent beforehand seeking the perfect colored silk leaves to match the ancient olive trees. Some of the replica olives’ had bluish leaves and others had a different tinge of green. The perfect replica olive green was eventually found. And with the artistic touch of flocking, the branches blended beautifully into the ancient tree.
Replicas were also used in an ingenious way to fill in a hedge around the perimeter. The hedge at Pump Restaurant Lounge is 35 feet high and the leaves of the trees had fallen off their lower parts, leaving gaping holes. Seven foot ficus trees were placed behind the fence and mixed-in perfectly with the tree trunks to recreate the hedge partially in silk.
Not only trees were used to enchant the restaurant. Lisa Vanderpump loves pink and purple, her signature colors, so 2 silk hydrangea in pots were placed dramatically by the entrance and another one by votive candles. The beauty of the silk hydrangeas is their blooms will continue to display gorgeous colors all through the year for the customers to enjoy. Real hydrangea blooms die out in about a week.
There is something to consider when using silk in the sun. The color of the silk will change to an awful blue-green color. For the trees and plants placed in sunlight at the Pump Restaurant Lounge, we sprayed a liquid UV fabric block onto their leaves and blooms. It simply soaked in, leaving no trace. It extends the life of the silk for 3 – 4 years, which was a very cost-effective way to bring beautiful foliage with very little maintenance into this very popular dining establishment.
Both the silk olives and hydrangeas fit perfectly in the existing containers. The containers are wonderful, giving a Mediterranean feel throughout the design. And for a final touch, the containers were finished on top with grey river rock for an earthy look.
Plantscapers always strives to find solutions for our clients’ needs. We constantly think out-of-the-box with our designs and consistently keep abreast of all the latest and newest products in our industry. Our top-notch team is always there for you, providing you excellent service every step of the way.