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Use garden art to express self
A garden itself is a form of personal expression, so what better way to say something about yourself than with garden art?
When we think of a garden, we often think of flowering annuals and perennials, foundation shrubs like hollies and Indian hawthorns, and small ornamental trees. But add a sculpture or homemade piece of art, and you start to bridge the gap between the gardener and the garden.
Have a little fun with garden ornaments. Think about some you've seen while just driving around. Most people have seen a bed frame planted with flowering annuals. If you have seen one, I'm sure this “flower bed” brought a smile to your face.
Garden gnomes go way back as garden art, having been first used in German gardens of the mid-1800s. Made out of earthy terra cotta, they were painted and clothed like miners of the day, including the cute, little, pointed hats. From Germany, their use spread to France and England. In parts of Europe, a garden gnome is a status symbol. Nowadays, garden gnomes are mass produced from plastic and found all around the globe.
Garden ornaments are an interesting contrast to their continually changing surroundings. While you’re unlikely to swap out sculptures with the season, the look of the garden around the sculpture will change. When I lived in Illinois, I had a ceramic mushroom patch. In the spring, beautiful Apricot Beauty tulips would emerge and bloom amongst the mushrooms, followed by flowering annuals, primarily marigolds. The flower colors changed with the season, but the mushrooms brought continuity to the landscape bed.
My parents in Tennessee have a sculpture of a golfer made out of round stock. In the summertime, it looks like someone playing through the hosta bed. Last winter, they sent me a picture taken right after a snowfall with the golfer silhouetted against the blanket of white.
Try tucking garden art into the landscape. I have an adorable, green, ceramic frog that looks like it is hiding in a mass of Silver Fog euphorbia. A friend in Hattiesburg has a small pond with massed elephant ear around the edges. Peeking out from underneath the canopy of foliage is a fisherman statue. I imagine fishing on a tropical island when I see this.
So what kind of ornament should you put in your garden? The most important consideration is that you like it. If you like pink flamingos, there’s nothing wrong with having a flock in the garden.
A second consideration should be durability. A wooden piece will deteriorate over time, so be sure it is sealed or painted. Concrete is a good choice, but the weight of these pieces can make rearranging difficult.
Once you've placed a piece of art in the garden, the garden suddenly becomes an even bigger part of who you are. And expressing ourselves is, of course, why we garden.