Garden Accessories; It's Not All About The Flowers
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!