Wondering how to spruce up your garden this winter with a sprinkling of style and glamour? A quick and easy solution is to add a few ornaments or a sculpture, transforming it from bland to bright and beautiful in a matter of minutes. And whatever your budget there’s something for you, with choices ranging from classic bronze figures to cute ceramic birds and whimsical fairies. Or, if you have little cash to spare, try making ornaments from old kettles, pots and pans. You’ll find plenty of options at ACHICA this week from London Ornaments Lanterns and remember to snap up a few for Christmas pressies for your friends and family too.
The key to styling your garden with ornaments is to place your pretties with care to create the most dramatic effects. For inspiration, we visited the plantsman and designer John Massey’s garden at Ashwood Nurseries near Birmingham (pictured above) open to the public a few times a year. John uses sculpture with an artist’s eye, and here he shows how a simple bronze figure can magnify the beauty of this winter landscape. The effect is created by framing the boy with a tree in the foreground and red dogwood stems behind to produce an arresting image.
Not all of us have gardens as big as John’s but you can create a similar effect in a smaller setting by placing your sculpture or ornament in a flowerbed or at the end of a pathway. Check out how these elegant swans, swimming on a pool of pebbles, bring this bed of bronze grasses and dried seed heads to life. Alternatively, you could plant a decorative birdbath in a winter bed or border. This will attract a range of colourful garden birds and create an animated focal point (remember to change the water and clean the bath every few days to keep the birds healthy).
Dress up an outdoor room
More and more of us are using our gardens as extensions of our indoor space, and you can add to the homely feel by including a garden shelter decorated with weatherproof pots and artefacts for a look that’s bang on trend. This pretty cupboard, useful for storing outdoor paraphernalia, is made from painted marine plywood with strips of tree bark tacked on to it, lending a natural feature to the contemporary design.
You can also use stylish pots and urns as sculptures to punctuate the entrance to a garden or on either side of a front door. Or use a pot to draw the eye to a flowerbed or to make a statement on a patio. To produce this effect, make sure the containers you choose are big and bold, as small pots will not have the same impact.
Tiny birds and animals look really cute in a garden but they can get lost among the plants if placed on the ground. Instead, set them on a boulder next to a pond, on the retaining wall of a raised bed, or on a small table to ensure they’re not overlooked.
String ‘em up
In small gardens, make use of the vertical space to add decorative features. Try hanging colourful tea light holders from a tree branch or fix a pretty plaque to a wall or fence and frame it with a leafy climber, such as ivy.
Raw and rustic
New ornaments add sparkle to your garden, but if your budget is limited or you simply want a rough and ready look, take a leaf out of designers Anthea Guthrie and Nicole Burnett’s book. They made a rustic shelf from two piles of bricks and a piece of reclaimed slate, and used an old pan and kettle as planters (remember to make drainage holes in the bottom before planting), with a galvanised metal watering can adding the final touch.
For more garden inspiration shop the London Ornaments Lanterns promotion at ACHICA.
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shop at ACHICA.
Zia Allaway, Garden Expert
View all posts by Zia Allaway, Garden Expert