Decorating your garden with found objects

wringer washing machine in my garden by lolaleeloo2

After a while some people feel that they have enough plants in their garden with plenty of flowers, but the garden does not seem to be quite complete. Well, from time immemorial gardens have placed sculpture in a garden to add another interesting dimension. Sadly, some of us do not have the finances to purchase real statuary or real art  What can we do to remedy this? Put on your creative thinking caps and start looking around you. Did this hurricane bring down some trees in your yard? Don’t just cart it to the dump, but see if when it is chopped up, you could use it to build garden furniture.  TheGardenLady loves to visit gardens when garden club groups open their private houses to allow others to see what they have done. This is a great way to get ideas for my garden because gardeners are cleverly original.

One garden I visited was owned by a woman who had a flower shop where she made decorative designs. This woman is not rich and does her garden by herself with her husband’s help. Her garden was filled with such funky discoveries that it was like one was on a fun treasure hunt in her garden to see what was tucked away in every nook and cranny. For example, she had mirrors in her garden. This is a trick that I have seen in other small gardens. A mirror in the garden makes the garden larger just like it adds “space” to a room. When put against a wall, the mirror appears to create a second garden- only then do you realize you are seeing a mirror image. I have a fence where I hope to put up a mirror to reflect my garden back to my eye. This woman had the old step ladder used as an arbor- I borrowed that idea and have had a number of people now copy it from my garden. The woman had taken bedpans, hammered them to her fence and filled the bottom lip with succulents. I couldn’t tell what was used at first, but when I and the friend I was with realized it was a bedpan, we got such a laugh. Old bedframes are used as planters. Artists call this “junk” found objects.

Where are these objects found?. The woman whose garden I spoke about, goes to a lot of flea markets and garage sales and uses some of the finds for her flower business as well as her garden. The old saying that someone’s trash is another person’s treasure is really true. My ladder came to me from a neighbor who was putting it out on the sidewalk to be picked up by the trash collector. I asked if I could have it and we were both happy.

The garden of lost shades by Sergio Maistrello

Of course, the first place one should look is in your own home. What treasures we once had and now no longer use can be recycled into something magical for the garden. Some of the strangest items can be converted into planters. For example, you might need a washing machine repair but find it is too expensive. I have seen some people make old washing machines into planters.  See here. I can imagine them being used for an invasive plant like the  Sweet Autumn Clematis. You don’t want it to take over your yard so you don’t want to plant it right in the ground; but since you love the flower,  if you could have it contained in a big enough box, perhaps the size of a washing machine, it would work to prevent the clematis from taking over your grounds. Then when it bloomed it would look like suds pouring out of the washing machine- to create sort of two jokes.

Do I think it sounds tacky and would TheGardenLady use some of these discarded objects in her yard?  I would and do use some found objects, but because I wouldn’t use other items doesn’t mean anything.  We always pick and choose what we do with materials around us.  But that doesn’t stop me from admiring other people’s creativity.   Let TheGardenLady’s readers see photos of some of the creative art in your garden.

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