A garden is more than a static display of plants to enjoy from afar. Your garden is part of your home, and like your home, it helps to express your unique personality. Gardening is the most patient of the arts, with the land as your canvas and the plants your paints. When you think about gardening this way, you realize that garden accessories and décor work as highlights across the design.
A garden is interactive art, meant to be experienced through the senses. By adding layers of scent, textures, and sounds, your landscape becomes an ever-changing installation that beats to the heartbeat of the seasons. Home and garden accessories chosen with care and thoughtfulness provide ways for you to interact and enjoy your creation to the fullest.
6 Reasons to Add Garden Décor
There are many reasons for adding some type of lawn and garden accessories to your growing space. Some are practical and make it easier for you to care for your plants. There are also aesthetic reasons for elevating your home and garden accessories.
If you’ve ever driven through a new housing development, you’ve probably seen dozens of cookie-cutter landscapes. New homes often come with an easy-to-replicate garden space filled with the same four or five plants in every yard in the subdivision.
Adding your own touches with the use of creative garden accessories makes your garden unique. It reflects your personality to share with the world.
Extending your living space from the home into the garden provides new perspectives on how you live your life. Moving from the artificial sanctuary of the building into the outdoors helps you and your family connect with the natural world.
Spending more time interacting with nature often reduces stress and improves health.
There’s nothing like a new garden project to lift yourself out of a creative rut. Updating your outdoor living space with new garden accessories is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make changes.
The good news is that you won’t have to dig up or replace perfectly happy plants. Just a few cosmetic touches with the right garden décor will make a big difference in the tone and feel of your garden.
Creates personalized sanctuary
Modern life is stressful. Use home and garden accessories to create a relaxing sanctuary far from the noise and bustle of everyday life.
Create privacy with large potted palms. Add trellises with climbing plants to buffer noise from the street. Indulge yourself with comfortable seating and romantic lighting to turn your backyard into a custom getaway resort.
Brings relaxing invitation
Adorning your garden area with creative décor creates an inviting entertainment space. Spring tea parties, summer barbecues — the backyard party is the highlight the season, The right lawn and garden accessories will turn your garden into the perfect party space.
Makes Plant Care Easy
While most home and garden accessories add beauty to your landscape, some also make garden chores easier. When shopping for garden décor, look for planters with self-watering reservoirs.
Arbors and trellis add height to the garden, but they also help prevent fungal diseases like black spot from killing off your prize roses.
Enhance Your Garden with Decorative Accessories
Like indoor décor, outdoor décor also has seasonal and yearly trends. You may want to focus on classics, however, if you have a limited budget. Natural materials like stone, metal, and brick are timeless. They also lend an air of luxury.
Faddish lawn décor is fun, but if money is tight, don’t waste too much on fashions that fizzle out quickly. Some trends in garden décor are expensive. For example, LED lighting has not only become vastly more affordable over the last 10 years, but the technology has also improved. Those who waited until they became more commonly available got much better products at a much better price.
Best Outdoor Garden Decor Items
Ready to elevate your outdoor space and turn it into the private retreat of your dreams? Maybe you’re planning on hosting the best parties of the summer. You’ll find the options for lawn and garden accessories overwhelming.
Some of the best garden décor items combine durability and beauty. And if they also serve a practical purpose, it’s even better.
You’ll find garden décor falls into the following basic categories:
Garden statues and sculptures
Garden statues became hugely popular in the 18th century with the trend toward English natural landscape gardens. These vast gardens featured large swaths of lawn and classically inspired statues of Greek gods and goddesses.
In modern times, garden statues are much scaled down and tend toward the whimsical. Most 21st century gardeners find classical statues too pretentious (although they may add them ironically).
You’ll find examples of humorous, decorative, and even spiritual statuary that fit into any garden. Abstract or geometrical shapes are neutral, while still adding a focal point to an otherwise blank garden space.
Your sculpture should be the focal point of the display, so design around the artwork, rather than trying to cram it into an existing space.
Outdoor fountains and water features
Adding a water feature creates many layers of interest in the garden. Immediately, they add to the visual appeal of your outdoor space.
Water features also attract wildlife to the garden. Passing birds and butterflies will visit for a drink. Frogs take up residence in your garden pond and help you irradicate those pesky snails and slugs.
Bird baths and bird feeders
I always feel the best lawn and garden accessories are local wildlife. It’s such a joy to enter a garden filled with the vibrant sounds of birds and insects.
There’s no reason to stop with birds, either. Bees, butterflies, squirrels, hedgehogs, lizards — all make any outdoor space more alive and interesting and joyful.
Garden benches and chairs
If you’re planning that retreat or entertainment space, seating is critical for comfort.
Place garden benches near secluded spots far from the house to provide an immediate respite. If the area lacks cool shade, create your own shade by combining a bench and arbor for climbing plants.
A garden bench with storage provides both comfort and convenience.
Choosing similar design styles or similar materials, such as all wood or all rattan, will create a cohesive look. For a truly eclectic look, choose garden chairs in a variety of sizes and shapes. Using all identical chairs looks too commercial and industrial.
Garden planters and pots
Terracotta helps improve the health of plants that require very good drainage to thrive.
Hand-painted planters add more color to your outdoor seating area off season when the blooms have faded.
Garden trellises and arbors
Trellises and arbors add structure and height to any garden. Use trellises to create a sound buffer from foot traffic and out of sight for privacy.
Arbors help transition garden paths from one area to the next.
Using a trellis also lets you grow plants and flowers that simply must climb for good health. Clematis and rambling roses must have support to look their best.
Like all home and garden accessories, you’ll find trellises and arbors in a wide variety of styles. Simple, contemporary models allow the plantings to take the center stage. More decorative arbors make a statement all on their own.
Art Nouveau is a popular design theme for trellises and arbors, as the art style traditionally framed landscape scenes with flowing elements.
Garden lighting and lanterns
The right lighting brings magic to the garden. Nighttime comes alive in a garden awash with fairy lights and torches.
Hidden outdoor speakers drive the soundtrack of the summer’s best parties.
Create small seating areas around fire pits where guests tell stories or use solar stakes to light the way for garden tours.
Keep pathways safe and accessible 24/7 with simple solar step lights. Hang strands of raindrop or fairy lights to highlight the special corners of your garden. Create a warm and welcoming entertaining space with deck lights and outdoor speakers.
Wind chimes and wind spinners
A garden should touch all the senses, and wind chimes and spinners add music and movement. They’re also one of the most inexpensive types of garden décor items on this list.
You’ll even find windchimes with solar lights so you can enjoy the sight as well as the sound in the summer evenings.
Flags and banners charm to a garden. They’re not for everyone, but you’d be surprised at the range of styles.
Garden steppingstones and pathways
Steppingstones and pathways are generally a topic of garden hardscape and require a great deal of preparation to install. However, a few decorative steppingstones add interest.
A decorative stone in the garden is a sign for the visitor to stop and look around at that exact spot.
They also improve traction in high traffic areas around doors, steps, or near lawn chairs.
Things to Consider When Choosing Garden Furniture
There’s always a challenge when adding garden accessories and décor. It’s sometimes difficult to refrain from adding too many decorative items. It’s also a challenge not to match every item of garden furniture to make buying easy.
You want to remember to mix and match a little. You’ll also want to avoid too much clutter.
Map your garden space out by “rooms.” You may have one area for entertaining, one area for privacy, another area for the kids, and another for growing vegetables.
Once you’ve mapped the entire garden into separate spaces, choose your home and garden accessories for each area. Choose only one large (or three medium) size focal point for each space.
Create continuity throughout the garden by repeating colors or materials in each of the different “rooms.” It’s not necessary to match the same styles throughout if you balance the materials, colors, and density of décor throughout all of the spaces.
Creative home and garden accessories should add to the garden and not distract from the plants. The whole together is what delights the senses and elevates the spirit.
Lawn and garden accessories should reflect your personality and give meaning to your experience in the garden. Use them to create the ambiance you desire – serenity, mystery, or even gravitas – and you’ll find the options are limitless.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been completely updated.