Skip the gnomes and consider something classic
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If you think garden decor is limited to those little gnomes that populate flowerbeds, then you’ll be relieved to hear there are other ways to stylishly decorate your flowerbeds.
Not everybody may agree, but the design team thinks garden gnomes are a design crime. Thank goodness we’re seeing more elegant decor in the garden, with an emphasis on organic beauty and environmental sensitivity.
One of the most popular trends in garden decor is small elegant fountains set near or in among the flowers and plants. We absolutely love the soothing, natural sound of the running water in a garden, as well as the look of these pleasing little fountains.
Check out the contemporary and more traditional fountains displayed at www.gardensupermart.com or at Home Depot, www.homedepot.ca. Prices range from $75 to $500.
Speaking of water, lovely garden accents can also be added by installing birdbaths, available in many styles and at many garden stores.
We especially love the contemporary birdbath complete with a dripping faucet that ripples the water and attracts birds. The birdbath is featured at www.drsfostersmith.com, a unique Utah-based veterinary clinic website. Look under wild birds. This intriguing site also carries structures meant to attract birds and other creatures to your garden — such as bat houses (they eat mosquitos), coconut bird houses, and even a butterfly feeder and a butterfly house.
Other lovely touches in the flower garden include statues, pillars, sundials or other tasteful art to provide a pleasing contrast to the plants. And we can’t help but mention the Foo Dog On A Pedestal Facing Right, and the Foo Dog On A Pedestal Facing Left, available at Home Depot. It’s perfect to frame an entrance into the garden.
Natural-looking stone benches or sitting blocks remain a part of the garden, but also provide an inviting place to sit.
In addition, rustic stepping stones add a pleasing path for the eye and the feet to follow. And garden poetry features inspirational, funny or personal messages amidst the flowers, a pleasure to the readers and poets among us.
For those of us who enjoy aural stimulation, think wind chimes, or a series of musical metal surfaces so the rain can make music when it falls. And gazing balls, those mirrored or jewel-like coloured glass balls set among the plants to mirror the flora or add interest, are also making a comeback.
Another natural way to beautify a garden is to add solar lighting. You can put low lighting to light up a path, to provide backlighting of dramatic plants, or install it submerged underwater in a pond or pool.
It requires no electricity, is easy to install, and stores energy in the day and uses it in the evening when it is needed. In addition, good-quality solar lighting has improved over the years and has more sensitive panels that can store light even on cloudy or wet days. You can also purchase solar-powered clocks, and weather gauges that measure temperature, wind direction and time.
Another inexpensive and easy way to add lighting and ambience to a garden is to add candle lanterns. You can make them yourself, à la Martha Stewart, by dropping a candle in an old canning jar, stringing wire around the neck, and hanging it from the underside of an umbrella, from a post or stand, or other garden structure.
You can also buy elegant little lanterns at places like Home Depot for under $10. Just remember to string them up safely, and to extinguish them after the garden party.
- Catch Arresting Design on W Network; see www.wnetwork.com.