Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Pacific Northwest
July, 2006
Regional Report

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These cranes can be moved to different parts of the garden, but I especially like them standing at the edge of my pond.

Art in the Garden

Garden art must be one of the fastest growing trends. Artful garden accessories seem to be everywhere -- from the grocery store to booths at the local farmer's market. In fact, if you can walk past all the gazing balls and obelisks and sculptural sprinklers on your way to the nursery stock when visiting a garden center, you're much more focused than I'll ever be. You're also missing half the fun of gardening!

Ornaments in the garden are an extension of your personality, so why not make a statement? Whether whimsical or classical, a well-placed garden ornament will tell visitors something about you and your garden's personality. Ornaments for your garden are limited only by your imagination. There are statues and sculptures -- both serious and playful, wind chimes, plant stakes, water features, birdhouses, rocks, furniture, and pergolas to choose from. Ornaments can be functional if used to support or contain plants; they can hide an unsightly corner, or they can create divisions between areas of your garden. Whatever their purpose, they will make a statement, and make your garden unquestionably your very own.

Choosing the Right Look
There are no hard and fast rules to follow when selecting and placing ornaments in your garden, but I'll offer a few suggestions. Make sure the size of the art matches the scale of the garden; you don't want it to be cramped in too small a space or lost in one too large. Certain ornaments lend themselves to particular styles. For instance, a white marble, classical statue looks at home in a garden of neatly clipped boxwood and symmetrically arranged stone urns. But it would look out of place in a desert garden filled with terra cotta, graceful grasses, and spiny cacti, unless the element of surprise is the effect you want to create. Let your personality shine through and you'll never be too far off track when choosing garden art.

Finding the Right Place
The most popular spot to place an ornament is at the end of a vista. A fountain or statue can serve as a pivot point between two spaces in the garden. You might also find just the right sculpture, rock, or gazing ball to place in an unexpected spot, just for fun.

Gazing Balls
Gazing balls have come a long way since their initial introduction into the market. Originally made of fragile mirrored glass, they are now rendered in stainless steel so they won't break if they fall, or get dented in a hailstorm. They can even be floated in a pond. The globe theme can be carried throughout the garden with the colorful hand-blown glass balls or teardrop shapes that are attached to copper stakes or formed with a loop on the top for hanging. These spheres on stakes can add a vertical element to a grouping of flowers, something that's often missing in the garden. Height can be achieved with many other things as well, such as obelisks, sculptures, or wind ornaments

Wind Ornaments
Wind ornaments are no longer just chimes. They are wind sculptures atop tall or short stakes that surf currents of air, moving in the slightest of breezes. You can stick them in amongst the flowers of a garden bed, place them in large container gardens, or even anchor them in ponds.

Don't be afraid to try different ornaments and features to see what appeals to you and what complements your garden's style. You will be adding beauty, enhancing the existing personality of your garden, and creating something that is uniquely you.

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