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Garden Accessories; It's Not All About The Flowers

Updated on June 16, 2011

Rocks are good for your garden

My fondest childhood memories were of my parents and I in our garden. We had flower and vegetable gardens so beautifully and tastefully displayed that people would specifically drive down our road to gaze upon the magnificent colors and home grown landscaping.

I had my own small garden on the side of our house; marigolds, verbena, petunias, geraniums, begonias, well you get the point that I was somewhat of a horticulture nerd. However, what was really special about my garden wasn't necessarily the flowers, it was the hand-painted rocks I added and one garden gnome I begged my mom to buy for me. With a child's flourishing imagination, I believed my rocks had super powers that made my flowers bloom and the garden gnome was king of the Carnations and ruler of the roses. Indeed the garden was a place of magic for me.

My daughter, Haley, a couple of years ago when she first started gardening
My daughter, Haley, a couple of years ago when she first started gardening

Bring your garden to life

There is more to gardening than flowers and vegetables, there are accessories and garden ornaments a little fancier than my rocks. You can get creative and decorate with shells, driftwood, pagodas, weather vanes, bird feeders and bird baths, plants growing out of toilets and shoes. My current garden has painted rocks resembling bugs or small animals which I created and painted with my daughter. I have a few shells that I've picked up from the nearby Oregon Coast and decorated pine cones that came from the Redwood Forest in California. My garden may be small but tells a very rich story.

Gardening can be unique to each person, young and old, and symbolizes new life and beauty. To grow new life and see changes each day is rewarding. Planting a simple seed can teach a lot to a child too. Why decorate your garden? Because it displays a style and creativity all your own, and there are tons of intricate and enchanting accessories available. The garden is a plain t-shirt- it may be beautiful in color, but it can be enhanced greatly with your own style added- perhaps you are a tie-dye person or a bedazzler. Garden decorations are like adding your own style to the t-shirt.

Home owner with a sense of humor
Home owner with a sense of humor
Garden gnome with a sense of humor
Garden gnome with a sense of humor

Garden Classics: Gnomes and Pink Flamingos

The pink flamingo, you can't have just one, and for good reason- they began selling only in pairs. How romantic. They are a U.S icon of pop culture, the brightest thing found in a garden, and they've been around for over 50 years. The place with the most flamingo culture is Madison, Wisconsin where they deemed the cities official bird as the plastic flamingo.

Garden Gnomes are a little less tacky than a pink flamingo, but a little more creepy. Small human-like figures that seem to always display an odd expression, making me suspicious. Of course the small garden gnomes residing (and multiplying) in my planter boxes are harmless, only because my 3 yr old says so.

Gnomes were created in Germany in the mid-1800's. The idea was to create ceramic gnomes resembling the tales and myths of gnomes who help in the garden at night. Garden gnomes have been popular wherever gardening is a serious hobby, such as England. Someone like myself who enjoys a gnome or five in my garden, is not completely serious about gardening, but display them more for a humorous effect.

Gnoming is something they do at night when they're feeling romantic- just kidding. Gnoming is the use of gnomes for pranks. I did this to my neighbor when I was a kid, She had several gnomes in her garden and one night I rearranged them in funny areas and positions just to give her a startle. As soon as my parents were done laughing their ass off, I got punished. Other more well-known pranks include the traveling gnome in which people send kidnapped gnomes around the world. This actually became the reason for Travelocity's gnome character.

Hummingbird Garden Stake
Hummingbird Garden Stake
Solar powered snowflake yard stakes
Solar powered snowflake yard stakes

Garden globes and yard stakes

Something that has almost as rich a history as garden gnomes is the Gazing garden globe which dates back to the 13th century. They were hand-blown by Italian craftsmen. More commonly, they became associated with the Victorian era. Garden globes are centerpieces for extravagant gardens, ranging in sizes. They are a sphere-shaped glass (typically) ball that sits atop a wrought iron stand. The balls can be mirror-like or various colors.

Beautifully colored yard stakes can draw immediate attention to any garden. Stakes are versatile in that they can be placed almost anywhere- in planter boxes, in lawn, in plain sight, hidden to blend in, etc. They come in a variety of textures, materials, sizes, and seasonal options.

In winter, there just isn't much color happening in most gardens so I use solar powered yard stakes with colorfully lit snowflakes atop. They are pretty enough to be festive and colorful without hassling with or spending money on outdoor Christmas lights. For fourth of July, we decorate with red, white, and blue pinwheel stakes, and all season I have beautiful solar-powered colorful glass dragon fly stakes.

Weather Vanes

The highest point of any garden is where the weather vane is often placed. Weather vanes are typically more decorative than functional. They are made of copper, aluminum, or painted steel, to weather any season and have letters (N, E, S, W) for each direction signifying a compass. The small side, with an arrow point often tells which way the wind is blowing.

The first weather vane was said to be the Tower of Winds in Athens, which was in the form of a bronze Triton, holding a rod in one hand. Some of the largest weather vanes are over 50 ft tall and reside in Spain, Michigan, and the Yukon.

Whether you are into weather or little bearded men playing in your garden at night, there are numerous garden accessories to put your personal touch on your garden. Happy gardening!

Get creative

No, that's not mine, but great idea!
No, that's not mine, but great idea!
Dog bird feeder
Dog bird feeder

Watch this...


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    • Jesus_saves_us_7 profile image


      7 years ago from Seeking Salvation

      I too love gardening, wonderfully done.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from The Great Northwest

      that's the laugh I needed today! THanks Tom

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 

      9 years ago from home

      Iz ihad a small garden snke in my garden-- he bit me i thought i hit a nail or rock - then i saw him - 9 inches give or take- i poked at him ad he snapped at me againi moved him into the wooded area in my yard...i saw him a few nights ago- my cat was going nutzo at the window i looked out to find the creepy crawly fellow slithering quickly away...


    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thanks so much for stopping by saif113sb.Happy gardening!

    • saif113sb profile image


      9 years ago

      very very nice hub. I love gardening and tending to my plants.Thank you for some terrific ideas.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Sharyn~ Aww thanks so much for the nice comment.

      Tom~ If they can pick my ose hairs more power to them, less work for me. But you have a good point. I wonder about things that come out at night and do things unbeknownst to me. Now you got me paranoid Tom. lol.

      Dirt farmer~ There is so much to be done with garden accessories and recycling stuff laying around the house is great way to show creativity in the garden. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      The Dirt Farmer 

      9 years ago

      What a fun hub! I was at gardening workshop recently where a lady spoke on recycling objects for the garden, and she planted flowers in a real workboot. It was adorable.

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 

      9 years ago from home


      BEWARE THE GARDEN GNOMES !!!!!!!!!! at night they come alive and watch you shower and they pick your nose hairs when your asleep....


    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi izettl,

      I really enjoyed this. You presented this in such an entertaining way ~ great job!


    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from The Great Northwest

      barbergirl~ why are gnomes just so darn funny? I get a kick out of them. Great point I forgot to add in my hub is that accessories are great for those who can't keep the plants alive. lol.

      marellen~ thanks for much for stopping by. I wish I had more space too.

      Truckstop sally~ thanks for reading. The accessories are the main show here because you can decorate any time of year- even winter.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Granny~ get some accessories in your gardens- it's as much fun as the gardening itself!

      thougtforce~ it's amazing that something can be so beautiful and doesn't even have to have a rhyme or reason, it is beautiful because of one's personal taste and perspective. I love and appreciate gardens- they are a great place to be.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 

      9 years ago from Sweden

      A lovely hub with many creative ideas, I especially liked the bra as a flower pot and the bird feeder! So funny! i imagine that no one can walk pass something like that without smiling:) The garden is my favorite spot and a place where everything is ok and also looks great, at least for the creator! Thanks for the awesome ideas and a great article!


    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      9 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      I have a very large veggie garden and many flower beds. Thank you for some terrific ideas.


    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      9 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      If I had a garden I am afraid and a little embarrassed to admit the only thing that would survive is the accessories. Reading this made me think of the attack of the garden gnomes... ha ha - I actually wrote a hub about it called Beware Danger is Lurking in the backyard. So, when I read how you rearranged the gnomes... I just had to laugh a little!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Loved your hub. I love gardening and tending to my plants, I only wish I had a bigger area to have more. I really like to decorate my plant area too.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      9 years ago

      Beautiful hub. I love gardening. So glad you spotlighted the accessories. Such fun!

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thanks DrBj~ my daughter loves gardening, flowers, and gnomes even more than me. We put thngs that smell really good in our garden, like a lavendar tree and mint plants, etc. THanks for stopping by!

      Tom~ I want to build a raised bed garden, well, more like I want my husband to build it and I'll plant in it and my daughter to elp- while she still talks to me- lol. That's really cool about getting some wildlife in your yard.I haven't lived in place with wildlife around since I was a kid. I kind of miss it. My dad lives in eastern Washington and I see tons of snakes, coyote, and jack rabbits, but not the same as deer- something peaceful about them.

      Thanks for coming by Eiddwen!

      Amy~ That makes me laugh thinking about 'free' rocks because I actually bought some river rocks and I thought to myself how silly, but my daughter loves rocks and our soil is more clay type. I've always wanted a garden bench- your Missouri garden sounded lovely. Thanks for stopping by Amy.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      9 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Your piece serves to remind me how much I miss my Hillsboro, Missouri home and the gardening I did everyday after work and all weekends. However, not one gnome was in attendance. They creep me out. My landscaping involved searching for "free" rocks, my two gorgeous arbors, one concrete angel, a garden bench and naturalized areas. It was an ongoing project that was creative fun for me that the neighborhood enjoyed, too. By the way, the funniest "gnome" story I ever saw was an episode from PBS's British comedy series starring John Cleese, entitled "Fawlty Towers". Great article, izettl!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      9 years ago from Wales

      A great hub which was very well presented and included some beautiful pictures.

      I vote up and here's to many more hubs to share.

      Take care


    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 

      9 years ago from home


      holy green thumb-Batman-I turned an old 6x6 sandbox into a veggie were laying fallow this year but looks like your quite a horticulturist n your daughter is so cute- mine is 17 and doesn't talk to me anymore....oh well your yard looks awesome- i have a little shrubbery round the house and 1/2 my yard is treed so we get all sorts a critters... a mama n baby deer bed down right behind my garage happy gardening



    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      9 years ago from south Florida

      Great ideas, izettl. Particularly fond of the unique bra flowering plant holder. But most significantly, your daughter, Haley, is absolutely precious. Like her mother, no doubt.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Jim~ you are too quick to my hubs and I thank you for being such a die-hard fan. Being a horticulture/garden geek is my secret passion. Its one of those things that I get lost in without realizing how much time I spend doing it. I hate to say it but I could really rattle off an endless list of flowers and plants that would really bore you to death. THanks for stopping by.

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      9 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      Sis, you took something that would normally bore me to tears and made it interesting. That's the mark of a good writter. My place in Texas has a beautiful lawn, and I was a nut about it. Now I just pay $25.00 a weeek to keep it up while the damn house sits vacant. Out here, I just have to give the old cacti a little water every few weeks. We call it desert land scaping. I still have a badass mower though!



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