Have you ever surveyed your garden and thought “something is missing” but were uncertain what that “something” should be? The answer may not lie with another plant or tree but, rather, with some strategically placed garden décor. The choices for garden décor are just as diverse and numerous as those in the plant world and can add that element of fun and whimsy you were looking for. As with anything, however, too much of a good thing can rob your garden of its whimsical appeal. For this reason, it’s important to consider your garden art pros vs. the cons of garden art décor. This article should help with that.
Pros – Garden Décor Positives
(Shelley’s viewpoint) I feel there are many benefits of garden art in the landscape. Here are some of my garden art pros:
Let your personality shine. A garden is uniquely your own and should be a reflection of you! Garden décor actually gives you more opportunity for self-expression than plants. There is gardening décor available to match every interest imaginable. For instance, I am fond of trolls. A quick Google search reveals seemingly limitless options for troll garden statues and planters.
Budget friendly. While there are lots of high-end gardening décor options out there with discouraging price tags, garden décor doesn’t necessarily have to be a budget buster. Yard sales, second hand stores and even your local dollar store are good places to check out for budget-friendly options. You can also repurpose items already in your home for use in the garden, such as transforming a bowling ball into a garden globe.
Adds winter interest. Let’s face it. A winter garden can leave much to be desired. The vibrancy and color of peak gardening season has now browned and withered away and been replaced with a blanket of snow. Garden décor brings interest to a dreary winter landscape with a splash of color, form or texture.
It’s a problem solver. Garden décor could be the solution for your gardening dilemmas, turning your garden from “meh” to a masterpiece. It can be used to lend contrast or add harmony to the landscape. It can be used as a focal point to draw you into the garden for a closer look. It can also bring a color palette to your garden that isn’t available in the natural world. The possibilities are endless!
Mark your plantings. Have you ever accidentally damaged or unearthed freshly planted bulbs or dormant plants? Yeah, me neither. (wink) There are many creative garden décor options for marking plantings that do not require a popsicle stick! Painted rocks, for example, make wonderful garden markers. But, if you’re not feeling artsy, there are fanciful stakes that you can buy to mark your plantings.
Cons – Reasons Against Garden Art
(Darcy’s viewpoint) Every town has that one house that sticks out like a sore thumb. Whether it be over-the-top, tacky holiday decorations, a plethora of signs supporting sports teams or politicians, or those dated wooden cut outs of a bent over grandma’s polka dot skirt with her pantaloons showing, we’ve all seen a home with distracting yard décor. Before purchasing that whimsical little gnome, it is wise to carefully consider the drawbacks of garden art. With all the hours you put into perfecting your landscape and garden, you don’t want to be that yard that all the neighbors are whispering about. In addition to being gawdy, here are a couple more reasons against garden art:
It can be distracting. One of the biggest cons of garden art décor is that it can over power or distract from the garden itself. If your rare and expensive prized tree peony in full bloom never even gets a glance but every guest to your garden comments on your collection of plastic pink flamingos, then your garden may be conveying the wrong message.
Expensive and requires maintenance. Just like adding new plants to the garden, garden décor will require additional time and expenses in care and maintenance. Plastic and resin décor can bleach in the sun, become brittle and crack; wood needs to be re-painted or stained and also swells, warps, and cracks when exposed to the elements; ceramic and terra cotta weaken and shatter easily; even cement, stone and iron weather when left out in the elements and need care and maintenance. In some climates, you may even need to store different types of garden art indoors for winter protection. This can be very challenging with heavy stone or cement statuary.
Do the Benefits Outweigh Drawbacks of Garden Art?
Before purchasing garden décor, you should carefully weigh out the pros and cons of garden art décor in your garden. Consider how much time you have for maintenance. Wood staining and rust protection can become an extra annual chore in some climates. Our gardens should convey our unique personalities, but they should also feel like our own personal sanctuary. If yours has become just a list of chores and tasks, it may be time to simplify. And for those who feel that garden décor upstages the plants in the garden, which may be true when a garden is overloaded ornaments, keep in mind that “less is more.” With carefully selected, well-placed garden décor, it will enhance a garden space instead.