Ornamental elements create visual interest, provide function, and express your style, adding much value to the garden. While much time and attention goes to planting and maintaining garden beds, we don’t always think about adding embellishments. I’ve enjoyed adding antiquities and other vintage type ornaments fitting for our Victorian era home. I’ll share the worth of ornament in our gardens as we walk through the yard together.
It’s a treat to live on the river with a beautiful bridge in view. Our cast iron fountain is possibly our most viewed ornament in the garden because of the bridge scenery and river traffic. Six years ago, we took a chance that a symmetrical garden could be successful on our steep slope, adding a 50 foot circle formal rose garden in our back yard. This cast iron fountain, too rusty to be used for it’s intended purpose, was selected for the centerpiece. It confirms the formal garden look and serves as a container garden contributing color when roses are not in bloom.
Urns are a classic ornament widely used in formal garden design. Several of our urns are special to us, as Husband’s father made them from forms he acquired in his cement profession. We have three sets of urns and a bird bath that we hauled from Colorado twenty some years ago that were gifts from him. I love urns for the patio, porch and gardens, so I’m always on the lookout for a beautiful large urn that is affordable. If you’re crazy about urns or would like to see ideas for urn plantings, you may enjoy my collection on Pinterest called Urn Love.
The four “spokes” of our formal garden lead to a point of interest. The west path leads you to a cement bench and sitting area that includes shrub roses Prairie Harvest and Mary’s Rose, and an urn filled with mint julep spearmint. A very heavy piece of iron fence establishes an intimate backdrop for this peaceful setting. The fence, discovered in overgrown bushes when we moved here, has been dragged to various garden locations before finding great purpose here.
Small metal trellis’ have been very useful in the gardens. They function well in beds and container plantings.
A few feet away on the rock wall is another climbing rose and one of three white trellis’ along the rock wall that give support to a climbing rose.
Along the rock wall on the other side of the huge oak leaf hydrangea is a stone staircase with an antique gate at the top. This garden was formerly a patch of grass enclosed by a short wide board fence. We created a cottage style secret garden, added a picket fence, and used the existing antique iron gate. The gate is one of my favorite elements. This spring, it featured a rose.
The antique iron gate post landed in this spot because a large hole existed here. It is difficult to dig a deep hole in our rock laden soil. A large red bud tree blew over in a windstorm the first year we had the fence built. This Victorian style post is heavy and needs to be secure in its spot so it won’t tip over. I would have loved to have a set of them to use for an entrance.
The gate post comes with a funny story, so I’ll share it with you. I spotted it at a local antique store and immediately loved it! I put some money down to hold it with the intent on telling husband about it and going back to get it in a couple of weeks. Before I happened to mention it, he wandered into the shop, spotted it, knew I would love it, and started pressing for information with the intent on buying it. Shop owner said it wasn’t for sale, which didn’t make sense to him, so he persisted with countless questions until she finally confessed it wasn’t for sale because wife was buying it! After relaying the story to me, he paid the balance and brought her home. I love that he thought to get it for me and that it lends vintage flair to this garden.
The statuary has been art in this garden for several years. When we first bought it, I used it in the house as a fountain, and then it was moved to the garden. Two years ago, Husband dug trenches and added a fountain feature for me. This water feature has brought much joy. Birds take a bath in it regularly. The sound of running water gives peaceful repose. It is a lovely focal point viewed from the kitchen sink window and the kitchen nook.
Let’s exit this garden and look for some more ornament. We won’t have to go far.
This little green fence followed me home from the Home & Garden Show this year. It found a home in this tiny bed along a pathway leading from the patio to the enclosed Cottage Garden aka Bunny Bakery Garden. It made a nice backdrop for the daffodils that were a bloom along the rock wall at that time. I like that it grounds the seasonal plantings, and helps enclose that little garden spot.
We’ve made it full circle around the house. You’ve probably noticed that I collect vintage iron. I pick it up when I find it at the right price and later find a spot for it. There are a few pieces waiting for the right spot such as a fleur-de-lis short iron post and this piece.
There are countless ways you can adorn your landscape and gardens.
I Peter 3:3-4 reminds me that ornament has its place, but should not be my main focus. “Your adornment must not be merely external…; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
Lord, help my heart be filled with your presence and reflect your gentle and quiet spirit.
Would you like to sit on the porch and sip some tea? I’d love to hear about what’s growing in your garden, to envision ornament in your yard, or hear countless ways you are blessed.