Decorating For The Lazy Gardener

By Mary Ellen Ellis | September 28, 2022
Image by OlgaMiltsova
by Mary Ellen Ellis
September 28, 2022

I’m not really a lazy gardener, but I am a lazy decorator. Whether it’s indoors or out, decorating is not my strong suit. For the garden, I mostly prefer that my plants do the heavy lifting. They are the stars of the show, but I have also found some simple decorating ideas over the years that make it easy to add a little extra interest to the outside space. 

Planters and Annuals

Most of my decorating energy goes into putting in annuals for the summer. A few pots with pretty and abundant tropical plants are the perfect décor for my backyard patio. I have accumulated containers for these and get more each year. I like my patio to be like my beds, overflowing with flowers and interesting foliage. 

I have experimented with different annuals for the patio over the years and landed on two favorites. Impatiens do best with a few hours of filtered light and plenty of shade during the hottest part of the day. They thrive on my sheltered patio. 

The other plant that enjoys similar conditions and provides stunning foliage is coleus. Together these two annuals provide all the color I need on my patio when I sit outside to enjoy my garden or entertain.

I decorate the little-used front door to my house with two large planters that get more sun. Here I get to enjoy petunias, one of my favorites that just doesn’t grow well in the dappled sunlight of the back patio. I choose a variety of colors for more visual interest, and they grow and overflow the pots throughout the season. 

Clearance Garden Animals

I do have one weakness when it comes to garden decorations. I adore animals and wildlife, so I have a habit of “rescuing” decorative animal figures from the clearance shelf of the garden center. 

I currently have a friendly black bear, an owl, a raccoon holding a fish, and a basket of wildlife that lights up after gathering solar power throughout the day. They gather under the annual containers and sometimes shift around the patio. 


The only other real decoration I use outside is lighting. We have a string of Edison bulbs that lights up the patio to the perfect degree. It’s not too bright but just enough to create a soft glow for when we have friends over for wine or dessert. 

I might not excel at decorating, but that’s OK. My plants and garden beds take over and do the work for me. Plants will always be my decorating go-to.

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