Friday, September 28, 2012

Garden Art - Make it Personal

Savannah Bird Girl in my garden

After spending some years working on my garden by adding and rearranging plants, I decided to amp things up a bit by introducing some art. Sculpture, attractive stepping stones, amusing junk displays, and other man made items personalize your garden by creating a space that reflects your interests. 

My first little statue, found in a catalog, was a replica of the Savannah Bird Girl that was featured on the cover of one of my all time favorite books, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (John Berendt 1994). So maybe the famous Bird Girl no longer graces Savannah's Bonaventure Cemetery, but a smaller version stands in my yard, a testament to my love for birds and novels.

Glass Flower

But not all garden art costs money. Or at least some garden art can be had for very little. Myfriend, Leola, has created some adorable glass flowers from cups and saucers, bowls, and candle holders that she picks up at thrift shops. When the real flowers start to fade, these glass flowers hold the spirit, catch and reflect sunlight, and are just plain pretty.

I like to place certain items inside shrubs, or under trees, almost hidden from view to add a whimsical surprise. I found a ceramic doll head at a thrift store and just knew she would wind up tucked between some evergreen boughs. She reminds me of a faerie peeking out of the greenery, an elvish face studying on passersby. I figured that few would even notice her, which somehow made her more interesting to me. Well, someone did notice her. They stole her away. I wonder where she is now and hope she found a good home. She'd become a bit weathered and her hair had gone ratty. I still miss her and am glad that I took a photograph.

Garden Art - Doll Head
A young friend of mine made this A young friend of mine made this attractive piece from salvaged bathroom tiles, rebar, and chain. The piece hangs on the edge of the garden, sometimes obscured by plants, but revealed when the growing season passes and in Spring when this picture was taken.

Garden Art made of salvaged material

I'm not sure if you can see this but the books in the bike basket below is spewing water. If you look at the right side of the book pile, you may notice water dribbling down. Now, I hate the idea of ruining books but this is one original idea!

I love how this looks like plants growing in a pot. Actually, the pot, one that I loved, a gift from my mother, broke in half. I could not part with it, so upended it in the soil to mimic a standing container. The plants are growing in the ground, but seem to burst out of a container that is much too small. I like containers but hate the constant watering. Using salvaged material is a great way to add interest and a bit of humor into a garden design.

Container that is not a container

I would not want to use this lovely mosaic stepping stone to actually step on, so have set it on the edge of a garden. Mosaics like these are simple to make using concrete and broken tiles. Craft stores offer kits that you can try out to see if you enjoy creating your own unique stepping stone. It's best to bring them indoors for winter storage.

Mosaic Stepping Stone

Upended bottles used to edge gardens, hanging unusual objects from tree limbs, incorporating architectural salvage as an art form - you can create a personal space in your own back yard. You can add one or two art objects, or go wild and turn the place into one whole art piece. And when you think to yourself, that there is no place like home, you will be right. 


  1. I love your container that isn't a container. I have a pot that I don't want to part with and I now know what I'll do with it. Thanks :)

  2. Hi Susan - my mother gave me that pot shortly before she died and I did not want to part with it! Glad you liked the suggestion!