A Study of Garden Ornaments – A Lesson in Observation

I’m not a huge fan of garden ornaments.  If overdone or not in harmony with a space, I feel they can overwhelm a garden and detract from its natural beauty.

Recently, I took a trip to my hometown in central Illinois. During daily walks through the nearby neighbors, I observed many garden ornaments.  While most of them were not appealing to me, I decided rather than judge what someone else had done, I would try to observe and derive a lesson from each one.  Let me know how you think I did and whether or not you would have drawn the same conclusion!

Lesson 1 – Make your garden sparkle

A little bling never hurt anyone, right?  In this garden the golden lion made a statement and caught my attention.  In the same way a gazing ball reflects the garden around it, this garden ornament shone in the sun as it protected its homeowner from harm.


Lesson 2 – Reflect your hobbies in the garden

Like to fish and garden? No problem. Simply find a statue of a fisherman and use the line as a vine support.  Problem solved.


Lesson 3 – Make the best of a bad situation

Had to take a tree down but don’t have the money or desire to grind the stump?  Why not make it into a landing pad for a toad sculpture instead?


Lesson 4 – Frame beautiful views as a focal point

In this garden the homeowner literally framed a view.  I found this ‘see through’ sculpture to be an interesting concept.


Lesson 5 – Tie the inside of your house into the garden space

I believe in connecting the inside of your home to the outside space and feel the best landscape designers consider the view from inside the house.  That said, I think it’s equally important to notice what you see inside the house from the garden. In this photo, I was drawn to the row of old coke bottles on the windowsill.


Lesson 6 – Know your audience

Many of us strive to spend as much time outdoors as possible, so design and furnish your space for the function you intend it to serve.  In this case a children’s garden sported some red chairs that complemented the crabby sandbox.


Lesson 7 – Enjoy & Observe

Love the space you are in. Whether you are taking a walk through your neighborhood, relaxing on the patio, or maintaining your garden – take time to enjoy.  Savor the moment and observe.  You might see something that brings a smile to your face and causes you to ponder some important life lessons. 

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