For some the idea of using garden ornaments in the landscape brings up an image of garish display. I’d like to make a stand and promote the use of garden ornaments.

Now before you accuse me of filling yards with pink flamingos and Disney characters let me make one key point – Garden ornaments should be chosen in good taste and used strategically. Please remember the great design adage “less is more”.

metal bird garden ornamentIf you think of them as “something special” (perhaps meaningful to you in some way) or as a work of art, naturally you’d look to place them in a special spot or setting. And just like with decorative elements inside the home, you’d like people to admire and enjoy them.

In terms of the “setting” for these garden ornaments, it should be a well designed landscape with drifts of unifying plantings that complement. A helter skelter planting design will only distract from the ornament and cause a feeling of chaos. Not what we’re looking for.

Stay tuned folks because I’m going to post more examples of garden ornaments used in the landscape. Maybe I can convert some of the non-believers and inspire more ideas for those who do use them.

For you believers, check out the NightOrbs in the picture above. These are not your classic ornaments like statuary and birdbaths, but are hand-blown glass works of art that can be illuminated. They appear floating, almost celestial when used in groupings and arranged at different heights.

Installing and Setting Garden Ornaments

One thing I’d like to emphasize when installing any garden ornament is straightness and stability. Of course how to achieve that will vary depending on what you’re setting.

Heavy pieces like concrete planters and statuary need a solid base or platform that will not “heave” from freezing ground.

Some ornaments have a stem or pole that is meant to be sunk in the ground, like the NightOrbs pictured above. Make sure whatever anchoring method you use it is solid and long-lasting. Nothing looks worse than a feature in the landscape that is crooked and “out of plumb”.cast urn garden ornament

1 Comment
  • Janice
    4:11 PM, 14 May 2013

    I totally agree. Less is more and a cleaner, well-aligned and thought out design is always more attractive than a busy/thrown together one in my opinion.

    Those NightOrbs look pretty cool, but I don’t see them fitting well in anything but the most modern landscape designs.

    Great post and great advice, thanks.

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