Yes, You Need Yard Art

Twist Ties on Pole

As the garden coach, my clients are surprised when my response to, "What should I plant here?" is "Nothing."  

Sometimes a plant isn't what we need. Instead, I suggest a bench or bird bath or container. Something that gives the space a punch of color, or a spot of solitude, without digging a hole.

Colorful containers can be that "pop" of color a space needs. These pots can stay out all winter, so long as water can flow through them to avoid the freeze/thaw.

Colorful containers can be that "pop" of color a space needs. These pots can stay out all winter, so long as water can flow through them to avoid the freeze/thaw.

Plants are the "furniture" for our landscapes, but art can be the embellishments, the finishing touches. What some call yard art. 

Garden art is whatever you want it to be: 

  • classical
  • whimsical
  • fun
  • unique
  • a focal point
  • tucked into perennials beds
  • benches; classic or bright, colorful ones
  • birdbaths; glass, concrete, clay
  • commissioned art work
  • statues and fountains; small table top fountains, or large, space dominating statues.

For years, I had a bright, cobalt blue container in the middle of my very large perennial bed. That un-planted container was, at times, the bloom in my garden--every bit as essential as the my foxgloves. The front door is not the only place to put a container. If you have a spot where nothing ever grows (and who doesn't?), what better to plant than something that doesn't grow?

While we're still waiting out the weather, tapping our toes for Spring (34 days and counting), do some stall tacit planning. What spot needs an evergreen and what spot needs art? 

Angels embody a reflective mood, creating a quiet spot in the garden.

Angels embody a reflective mood, creating a quiet spot in the garden.

This solar lizard is daytime and nighttime fun.

This solar lizard is daytime and nighttime fun.

When planning, consider that art can be functional, too. The birdbath that provides a watery spot for wildlife can also be a focal point drawing the eye to a particular spot in the landscape.

An arbor is an invitation to a guest to walk through to another area, while giving you a place for that David Austin rose.

Birdbath that draws the eye to the beautiful, vertical height of the trees.

Birdbath that draws the eye to the beautiful, vertical height of the trees.

Whatever your fancy, yes, you need yard art!

Written by Cinthia Milner, OSA, Garden Coach, blog writer.

BB Barns serves Asheville, Western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina, Gerogia and Tennessee.

Whirligigs create whimiscial movement in the garden, much like a bird feeder or bird bath.

Whirligigs create whimiscial movement in the garden, much like a bird feeder or bird bath.

Solar Flowers.

Solar Flowers.

Or, you can always multi-purpose and use that bird bath as the dog's water bowl. 

Or, you can always multi-purpose and use that bird bath as the dog's water bowl.