One of the things you should include in your gardens is some type of garden decor. Here are some ideas for outdoor garden decor that just might have you jumping for joy! We've handpicked them because they give us that "wow" factor and hopefully will do the same for you.
Now, when you hear the words garden decor, what comes to mind? We know that it can have lots of meanings to different people - and just like life, variety adds the spice. Items that one person likes another might not care for. That's what makes gardening such an artistic endeavor. You're allowed creative license to include any items that you find attractive.
Later in this article we'll give you some examples of each of the decor ideas, giving you some quidance. We'll even include links to other pages on our site to give you even more choices.
Before we do that, here are some principles and protocols to consider that will make your gardens shine.
One thing to consider is... how many items should you include? A mistake many people make is to include too many items.
Notice in this image the owner of this home must love, love, love those small plastic spinners. Yes, there are quite a few. Depending on your tastes, you just might like this too. These happened to be spaced out so in our opinion, it's not bad.
However, there are other items when using too many would take away from the overall look of the space.
For instance, if you're into wild animals such as squirrels, deer, chipmunks, etc, you might be inclined to include one of each or many of each, all scattered throughout the gardens.
While you could do this, a better option is to think of these garden decor items like you do plants; that is, in groups. Perhaps you wold create a grouping of 3 deer, each of different sizes - perhaps a mother and her 2 babies.
This concept can be extend to whatever small items you want to include.
When it comes to larger items such as birdbaths, water features, gazing balls, or other large items, one is usually enough. This is probably obvious.
If your idea is to use a larger item in the center of a circular area, that's great. However, if your garden contains 2 circular areas, for instance, one that curves around the side of your house on one end and at the other end, another curved circular area, you wouldn't want to put the same garden decor item in each of the circles - one on each end.
This would be too symmetrical and not be a good choice. Symmetry is good, but only to a point.
That being said, it's time to move on with the fun!
Our Recomendations And Ideas For Outdoor Garden Decor
Listed below, in no particular order are some ideas for outdoor garden decor and ornaments that we think you'll love. Although it would be impossible to list every item here, you'll get some ideas that should spark your creativity to look around for even more.
#1: Gazing balls:
Gazing balls are a wonderful ideas for outdoor garden decor to include around your home. The great thing about them is that they come in many, many different colors and styles. In addition, the bases on which they sit also have a wide variety of materials and styles. Combining both gives you a wide variety of looks and styles.
One of the most common places to use a gazing ball, although this is not the only location that's appropriate, is in a circular area that curves around the base, such as a garden that wraps around the side of your house. Use it as a focal point this this area.
Other areas where gazing balls look good is any part of your garden that curves outward into a wider section. Put your gazing ball in where the garden is at its widest.
Once the ball is placed, you can plant ground cover around the base. Pachysandra, loriape and low junipers such as "blue chip" would look good around the base. In a small space, planting small annuals such as petunias, short marigolds, or geraniums would also look good.
An important consideration which we know from experience, is that many gazing balls are made out of glass and therefore, could be broken easily. Your best option is to use some outdoor caulk, preferably with a clear finish, and seal the gazing ball to the base. This is what we've done with ours and it works great for keeping the ball on the base, without fear of falling off and breaking.
Finally, it's best to bring them in for the winter. Between wind, falling tree debris and other hazards, they will last much longer if you store it indoors.
Here are some examples of gazing balls:
Birdbaths are another garden decor item that looks good in any garden space.
The obvious added benefit of birdbaths is that they will attract many of your feathered friends. Indeed, birdwatching is one of the more popular nature activites practiced by millions and if you like it, you should include a birdbath in your gardens - preferably near a window or seating area where you can watch their antics.
Like gazing balls, birthbaths come in many different styles. There will most likely a style that fits your taste and decor so we would encourage you to browse some birdbaths to see what might strike your fancy.
Like gazing balls, since birdbaths are usually round, you can place them in the same types of areas - within a curving space of your garden that gets wider and will curve around the item.
It's a good idea to keep fresh water in your birdbath. This means emptying it every now and then.
Another nice idea is to purchase a bubbler for your birdbath that will create the sound of trickling water. This helps attract even more birds to your birdbath. Most bubblers (understandably) are solar powered, so if your birdbath is in shade, this idea might not work for you.
#3 Water features:
Water features could mean an all-out pond - including filters, lights and fish. This type of water feature could take up a lot of space and deserves it's own series of articles. Therefore, ponds and waterfalls will be covered in other articles within our site.
For now, when we say water feature, we mean small fountains and/or bubblers.
Water features and the sounds they create give you that serene sense of relaxation. For that reason, in our opinion, everyone should have one.
Going to your local nursery or garden center you'll see a selection of water fountains an bubblers. We've seen some that look like logs, wooden barrels, ducks, even Mickey Mouse (where did the water come out of Mickey? We don't know. That particular fountain wasn't operating when we saw it.)
Water features could be placed anywhere there is space. You'll chose your location based on where you think it will look good, but also whether it's a one-sided item or able to be viewed around all sides.
You can also make your own bubble on the cheap - simply by purchasing a ceramic flower pot, filling the drainhole with outdoor caulk, then purchasing a small pump and fountain. See our bubbler below.
Some water features come with pumps. Others do not. Be sure to notice and purchase a pump seperately if needed.
One additional consideration is that many water fountains need electric, so you'd either need to run extenstion chord from your nearest outdoor outlet or buy one with a solar powered pump. If you want to buy an one that needs electric, DO NOT run extension chords through doors or windows. You must have an outdoor outlet that's connected to a GFI circuit breaker, the closer the better and your chord needs to be outdoor rated.
See your local regulations regarding running electric chords. This can be a dangerout propostion if done incorrectly but it's well worth the time and effort.
Although I've never seen a survey done, ceramic animal ornaments are probably one of the most popular ideas for outdoor garden decor in use today.
Ahh, the animals. We all love them. Nature brought to your gardens.
Just browsing the isle in your local garden center will confirm how many types of ornamental animal items there are - from deer, squirrels, turtles, birds and this only begins to describe them. If you're a gardener decorating with animal ornaments, you most likely already know this.
In addition, some are ceramics that have been kiln fired, and therefore, are shiny. Others are made from more natural materials such as concrete or stone. Each material provides you a different look and feel.
As mentioned previously, it's probably not a good idea to create a veritable zoo of animals throughout your garden. A better idea is to create groupings here and there. Your artistic flare will dictate this and only you can decide how to place them.
Animals and nature just go together naturally so check out these beauties:
#5 Wind Spinners:
Here's an item that has gotten more popular over the last several years.
When we're tLoking of wind spinners we're not talking about those small paper star-like spinners that are attached to those 12 inch wood sticks. We're talking about the metal spinners that create a great effect as they are spinning - almost like the old toy spirograph (I know I'm dating myself).
These spinners are just so cool. The range of effects these spnners create are mezmorizing. The ones that create the "spirograph" effect are especially fascnating.
The one downside that we've found with these wind spinners is the fact that if you're getting large wind gusts, they may not hold up well. This really depends on h ow well they're made, so it's best to buy a good quality spinner - otherwise you might be finding yourself bringing them inside if your forecast calls for severe storms with high winds.
Here are some examples of wind spinners we love:
#6 Bird Feeders And Houses:
We are including bird feeders in our ideas for outdoor garden decor even though they should not be placed in your garden. Why? Simply because as the birds feed and the seed drops to the ground, the seeds will gernamate and before long you'll have sunflowers and other plants sprouting up. Now, if you don't mind pulling out those unwanted plants, then by all means, include one in your garden. Otherwise, choose another location.
We have many bird feeders - some hanging from hooks attached to a pole in the yaard - some hanging from a shepards hook within a shady woods, and one bird house on a large wooden pole next to our driveway.
In all these locations, either the plants don't matter or can be trimmed down with a line trimmer every time we mow the grass.
Don't hang bird feeders from a shepards hook that has been placed within a gravel area. Once of our clients did this and once a month the unwanted plants (we'll call them weeds, even though technicaly they are not) are growing withim the gravel and are next to impossible to remove completely.
Bird houses, on the other hand, are another great addtion to your landscape and as an added bonus, they will help you attact more birds. You can by large birdhouses, small birdhoses, those for different birds and much more.
In addition, birdhouses have many designs to choose from so you're bound to find one that goes with your outdoor garden spaces.
Here are a few birdhouses and feeders we love:
A Trelliss is great idea for outdoor garden decor and would make a fantastic addition to any landscape. As opposed to small animals, a large item such as a trellis creates a presence that makes a statement.
Don't confused a trellis with an arbor. A trellis is usually an archway, whereas an arbor is an open, 3 dimensional covering over an area.
You can't just place a trellis anywhere in your garden. There needs to be a purpose for its presence. So what is it's purpose?
Trellisses are often used as an entry to another space. If you have a garden space that is really 2 spaces or more, you can use a trellis to mark the spot between the two. They also make great additions when you have a walkway that leads from one spot to another - where you can create the walkway to go under the trellis.
Although not as common, you could use a trellis in a garden if you're creating a theme or set up, combining several items into an overall display.
Trellisses could be made of different materials: wood, faux wood, or metal are the most common.
Keep in mind maintenance. Wood trellisses would need to be stained or painted regularly, but their look and feel might be what you want. It would be best to match the style of your trellus with the style of your home and yard. A cabin trellis would be made of wood, where a modern home might warrant using a wrought iron trellis.
Here area a couple of examples:
#8 Garden Gnomes
Gnomes have become a very popular item to place in gardens. Some are cute, some could be scary, but all of them create a feeling of whimsy.
Should you create a "village" of different gnomes? The jury is out. All we have to say is... do what you like. Our preference is not to have too much of any one thing, as we've preached many times.
Here are some gnomes that would make good additions:
#9 Miscellaneaous Ideas For Outdoor Garden Decor
Well there's no way we could ever scratch the surface of all the different ideas for outdoor garden decor.
However, we'll try by giving you even more ideas in the following list that will inspire you to shop around.
Ideas For Outdoor Garden Decor - Your Final Choices
The great thing about outdoor garden decor is that you can use your creativity to add your own personality to your garden. This is one of the big benefits that will make an impact.
Even better, you'll be able to show off your personality within your garden and the compliments will be very satisfying.
We say, go for it.