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thyme2dig2

Show us your Garden Art and Accoutrements

I've often felt I had so many plants and yet a lack of interesting "objects" to look at in the garden. I've been trying to make an effort to make or buy more "jewelry" for the garden. This year I told myself that I was going to really put a limit on buying plants (yeah, right??? that lasted until like April 15.....) and spend more time on making things for the garden and planning more interesting art, etc. for the garden. Here are some things I've worked on as well as purchased. I'd really like to see what everyone else has in their gardens, even if it's some cool hardscape idea like a different type of path, etc. It's always great to get new ideas.

A couple years ago I made a few different types of these hanging decorations.


This year I worked on pavers for my back paths. I'd like to do four total. They are 2x2. Excuse the mess around them. I just finished grouting them yesterday and they're curing.


We lost a beautiful hawthorn last year and decided to keep the stump where it cracked. Wasn't sure what to do with it, but found this cute little birdhouse and it was a nice fit.


I love blown glass and found these at a great local craft fair. I'd like to get back this year to get more in hot colors.


And of course the tuteurs my brother made that I've posted before. The cottage garden would not be complete without them.


Please share your non-flower pretties!

Comments (59)

  • gardenweed_z6a
    7 years ago

    Thanks for the assist Floral_UK, I'll give it a go at some point. Thyme2dig, thanks for the pep rally comment as well. All my photo albums are dated when I downloaded from my camera (read: I don't use a cell phone) back when I discovered winter sowing and began to really shoot snapshots of my garden bed ideas, beds in progress and, in 2006, beds both planted and planned. Not sure how much success I'd have posting photos but appreciate the interest.

    My kids got a kick out of my design ideas considering I spent a chunk of their anticipated inheritance laying down a granite path, bringing in yards of topsoil & hiring a neighbor with a backhoe to grade the property among other efforts. Now I've hired the teen next door to do maintenance I'm no longer physically able to do. I don't regret one d*mn thing since the garden is elegant and has what I consider rather impressive curb appeal. My ND neighbors love the garden so that pretty much says it all.

    I'm guessing it was my daughter who gave me the biker boot. She's an artist/photographer. Not sure I even have a picture of it.

  • Marie Tulin
    7 years ago

    what was the occupancy rate of the bird houses?

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  • nicole___
    7 years ago

    Dh & I made the gate & arbor....out of electrical conduit. Those arrowheads on

    top are curtain finials. Dr Huey rose & jackmani....

  • arcy_gw
    7 years ago

    The flowers were made from plastic party trays from one of those "party stores" where you can buy paper products etc. as were the island faces. I have bugs/butterflies all sorts of designs. The jello molds (flag) are also great for these stepping stones, both are the right width. Metal cake pans work ok (tree,heart)--but the metal can chemically react to the quick crete so is a tish trickier. I have a "strawberry patch" from an old copper strawberry jello mold. We have a local household chemical recycle place where one can get old paint for free. They were all painted with cast off acrylic house paint and I have been AMAZED how long the paint held up. Most of the ones in the picture are well over 10 yrs in the garden.

    Here are the first attempts. We used different sized plastic buckets cut down to the height of a tuna can. The kids transferred their art via glass stones.

    Here I used loaf pans to make blocks. I got plastic alphabet letters from every garage sale I could find. When that source was exhausted I purchased letter stamps from a craft store and "punched" words.

  • arcy_gw
    7 years ago

    I would say occupancy is variable.

    Here is one of my oldest, dearest attempts, a favorite toy from when my kids were little. After 10+ years in the garden for the first time there is a family nesting inside.

    Here is my latest, DH is honing his skills on a lathe and made this one for my birthday.

  • arcy_gw
    7 years ago

    Nicole WOW am I ever envious. I keep telling my son and husband they should take up welding!! For now I have to settle with cast of Christmas decor for my trellises.

    Can you see the moose? It has a clematis for spring color and a perennial vine that turns red for fall..

    These ladies get marvelous vine skirts year after year.

    The orbs are easily sized with a firm WACK from a heavy hammer if they don't quite fit! and the largest is buried deep to "fit". Here are some smaller ones..I still have TONS of rings...hoping I can get the new high school art and welding class to make me something fabulous!

  • Thyme2dig NH Zone 5
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Nicole, what you have done with electrical conduit is amazing. How did you get the scrolls to be so perfect?

    Arcy, thanks for the info about the party store. I'll have to check that out for some more interesting molds. I like the way you used the path/stepping stones for the edge of your border. Did you make the metal wire figures? Those are really interesting. I just can't get over those orbs. They really are fantastic.

  • nicole___
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thyme2dig....Thanks! We have a flat steel plate with pins sticking up. Then heat the metal and bend them around the pins. My DH is a certified welder.

    These 4 trellis's we purchased. Paid $27.50ea.....cheaper to buy than to make! :0)

    Here's a cast aluminum table we rescued from the scrap yard...literally. They

    let us put it on the truck and weight it. Paid .25 cents for it.

    Before:

    After:

    Before:

    After:


  • arcy_gw
    7 years ago

    Thyme, the angels and moose are outdoor Christmas yard decorations I picked up at yard sales. We just cut off the lights, took off motors and spray painted them. I am still hoping to find some of those bears from a few years ago. Painted black climbing my trees would be a HOOT!!

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    7 years ago

    T2d, I picked it up last year at an independent nursery. It caught my eye right away as there were a couple on display near the entrance. (I bring it into the garage each late Fall).

  • Thyme2dig NH Zone 5
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Twenty five cents?? Nicole, that table is gorgeous! And goes so nicely with your theme. You make the scroll work sound so easy! I'd love to learn how to weld to make things for the garden.

    arch, that actually a really good idea to buy wire winter decorations. Also a good base for topiary. I saw a could really cool annual topiaries at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden years ago. Hmmmmm........this is why I like to see what everyone has out there. Great ideas!

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Nice mosaics , thymetodig..... Nice iron work Michele.

    I collect weird things (to some) and often they just hang around in the way waiting for for their fare. Many have already met their "fate"

    I am guilty of making transitional assemblages


    I think this guy looks like a centipede happily wrestling with it's prey. He has been with me since '76.

    If you die on my land, you will be fed to the vultures and then admired

    Well the moose die in Alaska and was sent to me. These guys welcome visitors by the door.

    I guess I


    am not too worried about "pretty"


    A guy by the name of Loco Lopez keeps us well supplied with metal oddities. Birds nest in the organ pipes and I love the dough mixer thingy.


    I haven't figured out what to do with this. It makes a great chime noise when struck





    OOPs I ran out of space for more.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I will end with a few a corn cobb thingy

    And a pot that sat above the steps in my childhood house that my mom said was Uncle Howard but I think he is a dead ringer for my Grandfather. I call him Uncle Howard because it was my mother's to name. The pot is good at killing plants. I thought the dead grass, if it died , would look good also.

    I kn0w that this next one is totally not PC and I am sorry for the offense if given. I have actually been offered a fair amount of mullah for this flash from the vintage past. He held up a broken floor beam in my neighbors house for decades and when they finally fixed their house they put this out for trash. He lives outdoors under the sun and stars now. here he was in a ice storm. I need to repaint him.

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis
    7 years ago

    wantonamara - you see "art" when others see garbage!!..I found a squirrel leg in my yard but I threw it away not realizing I could display it!!!

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    7 years ago

    I have a deer problem. The hanging leg is a warning but I don't think they are listening. I hear them laughing at me from the bushes.

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis
    7 years ago

    have had deer too..I feel your pain..hope you know I was joking about the squirrel leg : )

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    7 years ago

    I love the structures in a fine and small skeleton. They rot quickly and become fertilizer

  • texasranger2
    7 years ago

    oh no no no-------Don't even consider painting that Mexican guy, it'd be a crime against art. The half face is too too outrageous and the S.Eating Grin would be lost, I'd call it Postmodern Creepy, the effect is bizarre and its so politically tasteless and unacceptable it makes a statement. I'd pay money for it (as is) if I saw it in a shop.

    Yea, the deer leg is effective, it looks like theres still bits of hide and flesh clinging to it like a fresh kill, I can almost smell it.

    That broken piece of crawling ocotillo (?) looks like a centipede too. I love both of the centipedes.

    GREAT STUFF.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    crawling ocotillo? the a centipede look alike in the second and third picture is a snake skeleton (I think). The Hispanic Lawn sculpture has really bleached out much further in the several years since that picture was taken, and the half face effect was the 3/4" thick ice coating on its north side. My friend saw when I first hauled it to my old house it and immediately said it was the doppelgänger of her husband Jesús, so that is what I call him. I agree, It does look like her husband. He stood on the tiny kitchen porch looking in through the window. He scared a lot of people.

  • texasranger2
    7 years ago

    It looks just like the branch that broke off last year from my dead ocotillo which is now 'planted' in a pot with no dirt, just rocks.

  • karin_mt
    7 years ago

    Fun thread! And T2D, you clearly have a deep well of creativity! Your stepping stones are masterful, and the birdhouse on the stump is so artfully poised, it's a beautiful composition.

    Here are some that we like...

    The best one by far is DH's kinetic sculpture. You turn the handle and it drives a bicycle chain that carries a ball to the top, then drops it at the top of an elaborate track. There are different pathways down. During the garden tour a few years ago people lined up to take a turn at it.


    I can only build things out of stone, so here is my in-progress stone cylinder. I don't yet know how tall it will be or if anything will go on the top. It's too far from the hose to put a container plant on it.



    We have a little cast iron bunny that looks real so we move it around the yard just to surprise each other.


    These metal leaf sculptures are from a local artist.


    One of the focal points in our garden has become a difficult site to grow in, so I just bought this pretty pot and filled it with Japanese forest grass.


    Here it's catching the evening light just as I hoped it would.


    But by far the most artistic things in our gardens are the cats, who know just how to situate themselves into a lovely composition!






  • Emily Saba
    7 years ago

    Karin those are some beautiful pics!

  • Thyme2dig NH Zone 5
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Karin, I need one of Dave's kinetic pieces in my garden! Love that, how fun! Your stone cylinder is looking great. I think it's great that you guys play a game of "move the bunny!" Too cute!

    Aaaaaah, to be a cat in your garden! Wouldn't get much better than that!

  • Thyme2dig NH Zone 5
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Defrost, I know the place you are talking about in Kennebunkport. I've been there to drool a couple times! LOL!!! Maybe for some "big" birthday I'll just have to treat myself!! Those sculptures really are gorgeous and so well made. I bought a couple from an online garden magazine for much less money as gifts for my mom and MIL about seven or eight years ago, but they were pretty flimsy and did not turn well at all. Both returned them. I guess you get what you pay for.

    I've also seen the spoons sculpture at Beech Hill....of course while eating ice cream! I should probably go up there to take a picture and figure if that is something that can possibly be made at home using larger spoons, etc........it is a great idea and very cute.

    Yes, please pots pictures!

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    7 years ago

    Here is a friend of mine's work


    Lapaso's work

  • defrost49
    7 years ago

    Boy, the camera works a lot better when I use new batteries instead of taking some from the discard box. First photo is a round garden bed with tall phlox and Walker's Low catmint on the south side next to Apple Spice yarrow (not shown in the photo). I bought a ceramic plant sauce from Ocean State Job Lots to use as a bird bath. It is sitting on a chunk of unsplit firewood.

    The old whiskey half barrel was purchased inexpensively back in the 80s or so. It gets moved in the winter so it's not in the way of the snow removal but it's barely holding together. I'll have to remember to save the iron hoops when it falls apart.

    My favorite, not perennials although there is a large rhodie to the left of the photo. I like using old tubs as planters. There's a piece of stone to the right which I just like the shape of. To the left, out of the photo is an old grinding stone.


  • Marie Tulin
    7 years ago

    I was looking for a gift and saw this section on gardening gifts.http://www.uncommongoods.com/fun/by-interest/gardening-gifts

    There are quite a few kinetic pieces....don't know if they are art, crafts, or just do -hickeys. Bjut some are cute

  • arcy_gw
    7 years ago

    Just finished, HAD TO share. LOL

  • GardenHo_MI_Z5
    7 years ago

    Wow lots of great creative ideas!

    I have a few pretties to share...certainly not as creative.

    Group(5) of bird houses I move around in the beds..

    Great buy off Craigslist. Drilled a hole in it and lugged this beast around until I found the perfect spot :)

    Here is my garden goddess. I named her after my daughter..

    Windmill..

    One of 3 bird baths...its been so hot/dry, I've worked hard at keeping them freshly filled.

    Odds and ends...

    Sitting area that no longer looks so clean....it now looks like a jungle!

  • Thyme2dig NH Zone 5
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Defrost, i do the same thing for birdbaths with saucers from Ocean State!

    Arcy, was that flag made from a pallet? Ingenious.

    Gardenho, are you sure you didn't take those photos at a botanical garden. Your garden is so beautiful and I really like all the decoration.

    Here's an accoutrement one doesn't really want to see in the garden? Um, on the front porch about two feet from our front door.........

  • cearbhaill (zone 6b Eastern Kentucky)
    7 years ago

    My current garden is relatively new, so I'm still working on the plants and am not very far into Yard Art yet. But it's one of our favorite things to play around with so photos of my previous home will have to do.

    One of my favorite things to use was bowling balls- the shape always provided a nice contrast.

    Our yard man, Ed. He's dead.

    The small pet cemetery

    And Skyy bottles (still have them, they're going on a bottle tree someday)

    And the husband always swore that this helped

  • Lilyfinch z9a Murrieta Ca
    7 years ago

    This is a fantastic thread !! I love it all !!! I need to take some pics of my garden...

    Thyme2dig NH Zone 5 thanked Lilyfinch z9a Murrieta Ca
  • Thyme2dig NH Zone 5
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Cearbhaill, is that a yucca next to the bowling balls? I like the contrast of spiky and smooth. I'm not too familiar with yucca, but I particularly like the look of that plant. Do you know which one it is? As a Long Island native, it was always Yankees or Mets......duh.....ALWAYS YANKEES! LOL!! I grew up glued to the tv on gorgeous summer days watching the Yankees. Your garden is Z6b, yet looks so tropical. How do you pull that off? Do you have to bring some plants in for the winter, or does everything winter over?

    LF, yes, please add some photos!

  • nicole___
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Accoutrements to your deck....ok....here are accoutrements to OUR deck....lol

    DH & I built this deck when a job site was delivered "samples" of pavers and they were throwing them/the samples out to pave the parking lot. Most of the pavers you see here were free. We had to buy a lot more to complete the deck...but getting some free was a good start.

  • sandyslopes z5 n. UT
    7 years ago

    That's a beautiful deck, nicole! I like the look of the pavers.

    I like having all kinds of wildlife around, but those bears look a bit scary to me. :-0.

  • nicole___
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    sandyslopes.....Thanks for the compliment on the deck! We hauled in dirt with a wheelbarrow to backfill under the deck...making a flat surface.

    they're black bears. The baby's you see in the picture are tame. There's a campground below me and they hand feed the bears until they get big......then people are mean to them and it all goes "wrong".

  • PRO
    KD Landscape
    7 years ago

    A bluestone cairn I did a few years back for a customer. It's a conversation starter for sure!

    Frankfort Bluestone · More Info

  • Marie Tulin
    7 years ago

    I like that!

  • cearbhaill (zone 6b Eastern Kentucky)
    7 years ago

    "Cearbhaill, is that a yucca next to the bowling balls? I like the
    contrast of spiky and smooth. I'm not too familiar with yucca, but I
    particularly like the look of that plant. Do you know which one it is?"

    Yes, it is a yucca but I don't know which one.

    "Your garden is Z6b, yet
    looks so tropical. How do you pull that off? Do you have to bring some
    plants in for the winter, or does everything winter over?"

    We moved :)

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    UPDATE:

    Got this as a gift recently. It wouldn't be my first choice but as a cat family we can always make us of feline accoutrements. Lots of time to decide what to plant to put in it.

  • mnwsgal
    7 years ago

    Nice to look through this thread again.

    Will be interested to see what you plant in your gift cat, rouge, and where you place it in your garden.

  • marquest
    7 years ago

    I agree it was fun to look back this time of year. I do not post pics here anymore because my pics are in photobucket and they want them on your computer to post here now


  • Lilyfinch z9a Murrieta Ca
    7 years ago

    I have been spending my pennies at yard sales and estate sales to add to my garden and come home with some treasures! I almost feel the need to stop , almost! Haha

    i picked up this swan this weekend .

    Here's the rest of my treasure . It's not all where I want it but I'll be working on that soon

    Gonna be a petunia planter ..

    Flea market gold !

    Got this feeder , it will go on top of a rickety wood ladder and support my honeysuckle vine .

  • gdinieontarioz5
    7 years ago

    Rouge, that's an easy one: catmint. Will look great with the yellow and the little purple flower. Shear it back a few times: almost continuous bloom. Purrrrr.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    7 years ago

    that's an easy one: catmint

    Now that's clever ;).

  • gdinieontarioz5
    7 years ago

    Seeing that we are into cats ;-), I saw this in Holland. Surrounded by beautiful double snowdrops, and purple flowers that put a new spin on the term 'perennial' :-(.

  • mnwsgal
    7 years ago

    Ooh, perfect! I think I like that moss cat.

  • marquest
    6 years ago

    It is messy but this is Spring before Summer clean up. It is the shade garden that is 90% hostas and ferns. A good mix because the big hosta leaves cover the bulb leaves when they are finished blooming.


  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z5b/6a)
    6 years ago

    Update:

    Just have a few zinnias growing out of the cat:

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