By Melinda Myers
Adding excitement to your garden is easy. You can create instant, year-round color, structure, motion and fun to your landscape with a bit of garden art.
Just like shopping for plants, look for pieces that complement your gardening style. And consider all the benefits each piece of art provides. Many pieces are functional as well as beautiful, helping you get the most from your garden budget.
In centuries past, garden art included statues of gods and beautiful people as well as pieces that mimicked nature’s ornamental qualities. You can still find those traditional garden statues. But these days you will also find colorful pieces made from a variety of weatherproof materials in a variety of styles.
Look for garden art that’s functional as well as beautiful. You no longer need to settle for drab plant supports. Look for items like the Kaleidoscope Tomato Cage (gardeners.com) made of durable, heavy gauge steel and adorned with colorful weatherproof glass inserts. Train peas and pole beans up colorful and sturdy structures like Kaleidoscope Spiral Supports. These make creating an edible, ornamental landscape a breeze.
Bring your garden to life with garden art that moves in the wind. Metal wind spinners, mobiles and wind chimes add motion and in some cases sound to the garden.
Try creating a bottle bush using individually mouth-blown art glass globes instead of wine bottles. Select those suited to the outdoors. Strategically place them in the garden, so you can enjoy the way the sunlight plays off the unique, colorful glass.
Add a bit of color and ornamental appeal when purchasing your next birdbath or bench. And don’t forget about other winged visitors. Some garden art, like poppy sways, also capture water for hummingbirds, butterflies and other beneficial insects.
Artfully direct water from the roof using decorative rain chains into a rain barrel or mulched area. Use this century-old technique to slow the flow of water, preventing mulch and mud from splashing onto the house. Those in cold climates will appreciate the beauty of the ice-covered chains in winter.
Extend your enjoyment by lighting up the landscape with solar powered artwork. Set solar stakes donned with birds, roosters or calla lilies throughout the garden. You’ll enjoy their charming style by day and colorful glow at night. Lead your guests to the front door or backyard garden with the help of solar powered Mosaic glass globes.
Include a bit of fun and whimsy in your landscape. Let your garden design and garden art reflect your personality. A flock of funky metal chickens meandering through the garden or school of steel Fish Out of Water Garden Stakes swimming through your perennials may just be the extra character your garden needs.
Take some time this season to finish off an established garden, create a focal point for a new garden or just add new life to an existing landscape. Whatever the reason, you’re sure to enjoy the added beauty only garden art can provide.
Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series, including the latest Food Gardening For Everyone DVD set. Myers also hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. She is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Gardener’s Supply Company for her expertise to write this article. Myers’ web site is www.melindamyers.com.