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How to add character to your garden.

Updated on June 17, 2012
William, the garden bunny.
William, the garden bunny.

After clearing 1,200 square feet off of thorny bushes for the very first garden of my own, I have learned that garden design comes in three parts:

  1. The geometry of the paths and flower beds;
  2. The greenery: flowers, bushes, herb and trees in the garden;
  3. The fun accents: benches, flower pots, sculptures, bird baths, etc.

The first one is tied to your current landscape. The second one is dependent on your geographical location, and is a subject for a separate discussion. They both require a lot of work and maintenance and planning. The last one is what brings it all together, and makes your garden like no other.

Find your gardening theme.

First of all, you must identify a unifying theme and a few words to describe the feeling you'd like to achieve in your garden. Something that will guide your choices and will force a variety of objects, sculptures, and accents to work together, despite being purchased at different times and different place. In our sample garden the theme isRomance: white and elegant.

Romantic seating area in the garden.
Romantic seating area in the garden.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
A birdhouse sitting on a short tree stump.Two birdhouses on a pine tree.An owl sitting on top of a tall tree stump.A frog in the flower bed.
A birdhouse sitting on a short tree stump.
A birdhouse sitting on a short tree stump.
Two birdhouses on a pine tree.
Two birdhouses on a pine tree.
An owl sitting on top of a tall tree stump.
An owl sitting on top of a tall tree stump.
A frog in the flower bed.
A frog in the flower bed.

Add furniture!

Two or three large pieces will provide a focal point: benches, chairs, tables, arches. Whatever you pick, make sure that it is comfortable (if you are actually planning to use it), and that it fits the theme.

Two white iron chairs surrounded with flowers, and a tall side table to display a pair of ceramic "lovebirds". What's more romantic?

Garden sculptures

Choose a style (glazed? tiled? peeling paint wood? mossy rock? oriental? fantasy?) and distribute at least 3-4 accents of different sizes that accommodate that style in every part of the garden. Position your accents at different height: on top of a tree stump, on the ground, hung off the tree. This will force the eye to travel from one spot to another smoothly, and will add harmony and interest to your design.

White mosaic accents sprinkled throughout the garden help to unify different parts of the garden.

Bird feeders, bird houses, bird baths

If you wish to invite birds to your garden, don't forget to provide them with a place to rest. At the same time, keep in mind the theme and style you chose in the beginning. The more consistent you are with your choices, the happier you will be with the result.

Once you select accents for your garden, make them interact with the flowers. Drape a vine to climb over a chair, cover the statue with moss, plant thyme inside a watering can. If something didn't work, don't give up, instead, try moving the object to a different spot in the garden. Most importantly, continue to look at other gardens for inspiration.


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    • editsvcs profile image


      6 years ago

      You have beautiful, creative conversation pieces in your garden. What a relaxing place it must be - I feel better for having seen the pictures.

    • agvulpes profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for sharing your ideas and the garden above looks great. I love William the Bunny, he must start a lot of conversations?

    • Bukarella profile imageAUTHOR

      Lyudmyla Hoffman 

      7 years ago from United States

      That's what I'm here for - to inspire! :)

    • Hollie Thomas profile image

      Hollie Thomas 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I now feel inspired, I have to do something with my garden!


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