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Inspiring Garden Décor

Photo of an elaborate garden.

Liven up your landscape with ideas for any sized space

Garden beds filled with annuals and perennials are stunning enough to stand independently. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also incorporate a little something to serve as a focal point, a touch of whimsy or a hint of the unexpected. No matter what style garden you have—formal, informal or something in between—you can’t go wrong with the following 10 tips for adding a personal touch.

Pretty plant labels: Take your plant labels up a few notches. Swap plastic label stakes for aluminum, copper or bamboo. Or go the DIY route and look online for ideas on how to make your own out of clay, chalkboard paint and paint stirrers, or upcycled terra cotta pots. 

A piece of art: Create a place for admiring eyes to rest, with a prominent piece of art. Consider a stone or concrete sculpture, an obelisk trellis, bronze heron statues, resin toadstools, metal flowers or a copper wind spinner. The possibilities are almost endless.

Painted wood plant labels. Colorful plant labels pop in garden beds.
Strange art object. Make a statement with a striking sculpture.

A pedestal birdbath: The primary benefit of a pedestal birdbath is, of course, to provide a water source for feathered friends. Nestled into a garden bed, a pedestal birdbath also adds a point of interest. 

When it comes to birdbaths, plastic or fiberglass are good choices, as you can leave them out year-round in climates where temps drop to freezing or below. While they may not look as sleek as a glazed birdbath in a color that pops, the traction afforded by the material’s texture makes it easier for birds to perch. (If you do go the route of a glazed birdbath, put a rock in the birdbath’s center so the birds have somewhere to land. This is also a good idea if your birdbath, regardless of material, is on the deeper side.) 

A sundial: While you probably don’t need to keep track of time in your garden, a sundial brings an air of sophistication to a landscape.

The two most common types of sundials are horizontal and armillary. Horizontal sundials lay flat and have an elevated, angled arm called a gnomon. Armillary sundials are a spherical shape created out of interlocking rings. While both types are available in a variety of sizes, the flatness of a horizontal sundial gives you more flexibility when incorporating it into your garden; depending on the size of an armillary sundial, you made need a decent amount of space.

A birdbath A birdbath adds interest and benefits songbirds.
A Sundial Add a touch of modern elegance with a sundial.

Wind chimes: Bring a bit of Zen to your garden with the gentle sounds of wind chimes. Hang them from a tree branch with a tree hook or use a shepherd’s hook for smaller to medium-sized chimes. 

Your best bets for garden durability are metal or aluminum chimes, both of which can stand up to the weather. Bamboo chimes or decorative styles crafted from shells or glass are better suited to a covered patio or screened-in porch. 

Also keep in mind that that material the chimes are made of affects their sound. Metal, for example, makes a clear, sharp, strong sound, while the sounds from bamboo chimes are more subtle. 

Eye-catching pots: When it comes to potted plants, think beyond placing them on patios and porches. Tuck a beautifully patterned, uniquely shaped or dramatically colored pot filled with cheery blooms or foliage plants in a garden bed and you have an instant work of art.

A windchime. Relax with the soothing notes from wind chimes.
Brightly painted pots. Pots of annuals are great for tucking into beds of perennials.

A decorative urn: While you can certainly use a decorative urn to showcase plants, you can also use it as a statement piece, sans plants. Place a large urn on a low pedestal in your garden to add dimension and character among the blooms. 

A gazing ball: If you want to add a little flair to a garden bed, consider a gazing ball, which always look stunning. You can set a gazing ball directly on the ground—or, if you desire some height, place it on a pedestal. Just make sure that you place a glass gazing ball away from high-traffic areas (and bring it indoors before winter).

A Large urn. Use a decorative urn to add character.
A gazing ball. A gazing ball brightens up any garden.

Stepping stones: You don’t need a lot of room to incorporate stepping stones. A single DIY stone (crafted from a store-bought kit or an on-line how-to), stands out in a smaller space. If you have more room, incorporating a natural stone path through your garden is an inviting way to draw guests into it. 

A garden bench: Granted, a garden bench requires a bit of space, but if you have the real estate, a bench makes for a classic focal point as well as a place to kick back and relax. While a wooden bench affords a timeless quality, keep in mind that wood is more susceptible to the elements. An alternative is composite wood, which looks like the real thing but is extremely durable. Wrought iron is also durable but can, over time, rust if not properly maintained.

Stepping stones. Install stepping stones to create a natural path.
A wooden bench. A bench is the perfect vantage point for enjoying seasonal blooms.

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