By Ande Waggener
Whether your lawn is in its dormant winter scruffiness or its green summer lushness, it may be nudging you to ask, “What are some fun lawn ornaments?”
Although traditionally, lawn ornaments have been the butt of jokes, and they’re often depicted as showing up only in front of manufactured homes or the pink homes of Florida retirees, lawn ornaments are up and comers on the landscaping frontier.
Today’s lawn ornaments and yard decorations aren’t the tacky plastic gewgaws of yesteryear. Up-to-date lawn ornaments can be stylish and even artistic. When it comes to lawn ornaments and yard decorations, you’re limited only by your imagination; so you can be as sleekly modern or as country kitsch as you want.
Here are a few yard ornaments ideas to jumpstart your creativity.
For the Birds
Birdbaths are veterans of the yard decorations scene. Not only are they a decoration, but they’re also Mother Nature-friendly and a must-have if you’re a bird watcher.
Around for nearly 200 years, the first purposeful birdbath was developed by a U.K. garden company in 1840. Today, birdbaths are so common that they come in myriad materials and designs.
The most common birdbath materials are concrete, plastic, ceramic, or marble; but you can also purchase metal or stone birdbaths. Birdbaths come in several designs:
- Basin birdbaths are simple bowls that sit on the ground.
- Pedestal birdbaths are elevated basins.
- Hanging birdbaths are basins that hang from a tree branch or garden hook.
- Fountain birdbaths have a moving water feature.
You can also get heated birdbaths, and some heated birdbaths are solar-powered.
You can get a basic plastic birdbath for around $30, but high-end stone or marble birdbaths can cost several hundred dollars. Because birdbaths can be found in so many design styles, you’re sure to find one that fits your home’s character. A birdbath surrounded by greenery and flowers can create a peaceful garden vignette for your yard.
Carve It Up
Wood carvings are among the most unique yard ornaments you can add to your outdoor living space. Because wood can be carved into any shape or style, you can have whatever you want added to your yard if you have it carved out of wood. Anything from a complex chainsaw carving to a simpler country wood carving can give your yard whatever aesthetic you desire, from historically significant to simply cute.
Create a Cliché
Yeah, garden gnomes, flamingos, and pinwheels tend to be lawn ornament clichés, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have them in your yard. Clichés are clichés for a reason. They’re so popular they become overused. If you need a smile, inviting a happy pelican, pinwheel, or gnome into your yard might be the perfect pick-me-up for you. The key to making the cliché work is including it in an otherwise sophisticated or modern garden. Don’t let your cliché stick out like a sore thumb in the middle of an unkempt yard. Tuck it into an upscale landscape design or a beautiful flower bed.
If you don’t have real wildlife around your home, a little fake wildlife can make for fun lawn ornaments. You can purchase all manner of plastic or resin critters, or you can have a critter wood carving done. To make the critter lawn ornament an integrated part of your backyard design, place the ornament in a place and configuration that’s reminiscent of how the real critter would behave. Doing this will make your lawn ornament more of an organic part of your yard rather than something that looks like a child’s toy or junk.
Make it Miniature
Tiny structures like pint-sized cottages or castles can be fun, almost magical additions to your landscaping. Conjuring images of fairy abodes, such little buildings may not actually house supernatural creatures, but they can provide shelter to birds or small garden animals like chipmunks.
Repurpose Everyday Items
Although you obviously don’t want to turn your yard into a junkyard by hauling all your old stuff into your yard and letting weeds grow out of it, you can create entertaining lawn ornaments by using household or personal items in new ways. Buckets, wheelbarrows, old boats, cast iron pots, and a variety of other items that can hold dirt can be turned into planters for your yard. When you combine lovely plants with old household stuff, you can create quite a striking lawn ornament.
Let it Grow
If you don’t want to put knick-knacks or sculptures in your yard, you can still decorate your backyard. You can do it with something already found in your yard: vines or shrubs. All you have to do is grow and train your vines or shrubs into specific shapes, i.e., make a topiary.
Topiaries are environmentally friendly fun lawn ornaments. No longer in just the purview of master gardeners, topiaries can be done by amateurs.
To make a topiary from vines, follow these steps:
- Buy a topiary form in the shape you desire.
- Fill the form with sphagnum moss.
- Plant a vining plant such as ivy in the moss so that it can grow up the form.
- Train and prune the vine as it grows so it fits the shape you’re creating.
To make a topiary from a shrub, follow these steps:
- Chose a small evergreen shrub (you want to be able to mold it as it grows).
- Fit a topiary frame over the shrub.
- Let the shrub grow into and out of the frame.
- Train and prune the shrub so it fits the shape of the frame. Prune carefully, never taking off more than 2 or 3 inches to get the shape you want.
Although the process of creating a topiary isn’t a fast one, it’s quite satisfying. Your patience will eventually pay off with a beautiful green lawn ornament.
If you think your yard needs a little something, you now have seven ideas to help you sprinkle a dash of panache into your outdoor space. Depending on how you execute these ideas, you can decorate your yard in keeping with any mood that suits you.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com