How to design décor in the garden
Sometimes the difference between a nice garden and a lovely garden can be just a question of garden décor. A reasonably well designed garden will always look good, but if you add a piece of sculpture to fill that empty space, some cushions of just the right color to accent a seating area or an eye-catching specimen plant that creates a focal point, well, it can transform “good” into fabulous.
There are endless possibilities of ways you can add décor. If you have a theme to your garden, décor is the perfect way to punch up the effects. A Southwestern garden really comes to life if you add some wagon wheels, an old buckboard or maybe a tiled, Spanish fountain in a courtyard. Accent a cottage garden with a white picket fence, an archway or some gingham outdoor drapes.
Garden décor can come in large and small sizes. Colorful or realistic mushrooms can heighten the forest feel of a woodland garden. Add a small decorative bridge to connect two parts of the landscape. Or a monster sized chess board might bring gaming to new levels as a focal point in an ordinary backyard design.
Décor should be the last part of your landscape to be installed. After permanent features are built and plants are in place, you can see where a little extra accent can add color, shape or just a little life where it is needed.
The exception to this rule is when you use a large piece of décor as a central focal point. This is best installed after all the systems (drainage, irrigation, utilities, etc.) and hardscapes (permanent features) are in place.
A large sculpture or a waterfall might be good examples. If you intend to use your décor as a focal point it is best planned into your garden design early on so paths, walls and other structures will work in harmony with it to make an overall picture. Plants can then be used to emphasize or soften the area around your special feature.
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