Monday, August 15, 2011

Decorative Elements in the Garden

Create an individual style for your garden by adding decorative elements. Introducing an artistic flair to the garden design can be a thrifty, sustainable practice, making your back yard a highly personal space.

Of course, standard statues add a kind of personality to the garden. A Buddha statue creates a feeling of peace and serenity. Saint Francis, the patron saint of the ecology movement and animals connects us with the concept of God in nature. Angels add a spiritual feeling and aim us toward our better selves. You can purchase statues, bird baths, and garden seating at stores or online, but for a unique look, think outside the big box store.

Handcrafted art, found art, and junk can introduce a note of the whimsical or a taste of the unusual. These simple glass flowers can be made with thrift store purchases glued together and mounted on copper piping.

I found a copy of the Savannah Bird Girl (pictured above), a significant figure in one of my favorite novels, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, at a yard sale for $10.00. One of her arms was broken off, but I glued it on with Goop.

Broken containers, pieces of architectural salvage, old farm tools, and junk items add an artistic touch and provide a focal point. An unusual item, tucked behind a tree or shrub can seem mysterious or merely amusing and provide a bit of surprise. 

The doll's head on the right reminds me of a fairy peeking out from the green boughs of a juniper bush. Some visitors find her charming, while others think she's a bit creepy, but she adds an interesting element to our front yard. She cost about 50 cents at a thrift store. 

One of my favorite gardens is bordered by upended glass bottles. In a shady area, the glass reflects light quite prettily. This distinctive style costs nothing, using bottles left over from parties and collected from friends. 

The hunt for unique garden decor can be a lot of fun. Thrift stores, architectural salvage yards, and antique shops are excellent sources of materials for garden art projects. If you feel like getting up early in the morning, you can cruise the better neighborhoods in order to arrive before the garbage truck. You'd be surprised at what some people throw away. Okay, so maybe some pieces are not in pristine condition, but does it actually matter outside? A container with a crack can be used to best effect if you turn the bad section toward a wall. An old chair can hold a pot of flowers, a statue, or a personal art piece. 

Once you open your eyes, and put your creative intuition to work, adding unique decorative elements is a fun and inexpensive project.

1 comment:

  1. I love finding objects to put out in my flower gardens. One of my favorites is a ceramic giraffe, which was about 2 ft tall. It's lets got badly broken, so I dug a hole in my garden and buried the "stubs" in it. Now it makes an interesting addition to my hosta bed! Great blog! :)