Home :: DIY Garden Ornaments

DIY Garden Ornaments

Garden Ornaments: Create Your Own Garden Sculptures And Features

 
 
If you’re a keen gardener who follows the trends, you’ll know that contemporary garden design is not only about re-creating natural environments. Garden ornaments have gone way beyond the garden gnome, the reproduction classical sculpture, the sundial and the wishing well. Inexpensive DIY garden sculptures and ornaments can add interest, style and funky humour to your garden. Making them can also be an ideal way to get the kids involved in creative activities outdoors!
 
 
Hyper-modern gardens blur the boundaries between interior and exterior. Gardens are not just places for plants, but spaces for living in. Principles of design that once belonged indoors are now adapted for the garden. Instead of buying custom-made artists’ pieces or mass-produced garden ornaments from nurseries, effective pieces can be made at home. 
 
 
Materials and styles: 
 
Garden ornaments can be made from natural materials, perhaps even recycling garden waste to create temporary visual foci. When a wooden piece biodegrades, it will enrich your soil. Alternatively, in a thoroughly modern move, you can head in the opposite direction, utilising plastics, clean lines and bright colours that work precisely because they contrast strongly with the natural environment. The type of garden ornament you choose will need to be carefully chosen to fit your garden type. Small pieces can be lost in larger gardens, though may work well in a defined area, such as a herb garden or a rockery. Different types of garden (woodland, wetland, cottage) invite different kinds of features. 
 
 
Objects:
 
Any item of suitable scale and appealing form can potentially provide visual interest in the garden. Flotsam and jetsam from the beach, and other weathered objects are often formally striking. Chunks of metal or machinery in interesting abstract shapes will often rust attractively to blend in with a garden. It does require a good eye, however, since the line between modern sculpture garden and junkyard can be a fine one. Another item of junk from the house that can be used effectively in the garden is the mirror. Carefully placed, perhaps in a darker corner, mirrors can add an element of surprise. As with metal items, make sure that people, pets and wildlife are protected from sharp edges.  
 
 
Using patterns, textures and shapes:
 
Instead of bringing in items with visually interesting shapes, another option is to create pattern and texture from basic materials, such as pebbles, lengths of log or identical pieces of any other material. In such designs, the item used is less important than the textured geometric pattern that results. A dull or empty space can become a feature, using simple designs like concentric circles or ripple effects. (The principle is the same as that used in Japanese gravel gardens: repetition and order).  
 
 
Slices of log or branch can also be used as you would building blocks, to create striking simple shapes – cones, cylinders, spirals or even pyramidal forms. (If they are heavy enough they may not need further securing, but resist creating structures that could fall or blow over and cause damage to people or plants). Flexible twigs or slim branches can bent into shapes to hang on bare walls. Dead branches with a pleasing tree-like form can be anchored in a pot and hung with objects as you would a Christmas tree. Twigs and bits of plastic can be fashioned into bright, bold flowers to brighten a dull bed or nook. 
 
 
The possibilities are multiple, limited only by your imagination and the parameters of your personal taste. If you are a contemporary art fan, sculptures and installations designed for indoors are packed with visual ideas that may inspire you. What works indoors often needs only minor adaptation to look good in the garden.
 
 
If you are trying to cut back on your gardening, perhaps to save time or water, you can still maintain your garden’s character with garden ornaments and features. In their own way they may be just as visually appealing. If well-conceived, they may even be more arresting and stylish than yet another flowerbed or shrub.