July has been a splendid month. Very hot, very humid but full of travel, fun and frivolity. Isn’t that what summer is supposed to be about? I’ve left the garden to its own devices and have been welcomed back by a host of new bloomers–panicled hydrangeas, black eyed Susans, Joe pye weed, pink roses, daisies and zinnias, even as the voles continue their vicious attacks.
A 4th of July visit to my sister in San Antonio is what has inspired this post. Mornings were spent lounging on her tree-covered patio, coffee mugs and i-Pads for news in hand, interspersed with lots and lots of sister talk. Surrounded by Susan’s lush plantings, pond, and all sorts of of garden ornamentia my thoughts were naturally led to garden art.
I love garden accents. They provide a punctuation mark, whimsy or a much needed pause to the garden. Garden accents can take the form of some serious statuary or be as delicate as a glass wind chime. Big or small, I believe such accents give the viewer information about the garden and, more importantly, the gardener.
As my backyard playground progresses, I’ve slowly added small pieces to the yard, mainly to begin to fill in blank spaces in garden beds or to visually fill up the vertical void on the large fences. I like more natural and organic materials, such as unpolished stone, woods and rusted metals. And I love hearing the metal tones of chimes in the wind.
Travels provide a great excuse to buy a little something for the garden. I bought this smiling leaf bird feeder during one of my travels. It reminds me of the trip I took and the cute garden shop I visited. Conversely, travels often inspire a local purchase. I like mermaids because they remind me of wonderful island trips I’ve taken; I bought a metal mermaid at a local art fair.
Garden ornaments also fulfill a function. They provide a structure for climbing plants, a resting spot for birds or even a stand for plants. The small armillary sphere in my raised garden bed has been a good climbing structure for the young clematis I planted last summer. Form can meet function and be artful at the same time. One of my friends created a beautiful privacy screen with custom-designed panels.The plant stand above (a sundial base, really) has held containers full of caladiums, a basketful of fern and now an armillary sphere. But I placed it here to provide a focal point to the astilbe that surround its base and to fill up the fence line.I’ve also repurposed objects d’art for the garden. A swag of wooden stars originally used for a Christmas mantle display has been repurposed to dangle from a tree. It was getting zero use sitting on a shelf in the garage, now I enjoy it whenever I am out on the patio. I also found a couple of pieces of rusiting tin ceiling tiles at a resale shop that I’ve put to good use on the fence. I think they provide a whole lot of look for the $3 I spent on each piece. In the spring, my neighbor’s bright honeysuckle is a pretty contrast with the rusting metal.How do you accent your garden?