|Berkeley the Snail, at bottom, with|
a more conventional bird bath,
visible at top
Like beauty, garden ornaments are in the eye of the beholder. They can be almost anything you want them to be. Our neighbors tend toward gazing balls. Some people have cherubim. There is a house on a main road a few miles from me with literally hundreds of garden gnomes and fairies out for all to see. I’ve never quite comprehended gnomes, except as things to steal and send on trips around the world, taking photos along the way; but I accept that, for a certain subset of gardeners, gnomes are gotta-have items.
Our own stash of ornaments ranges from the expected to the highly eclectic. There are four bird baths, surely a staple of any respectable garden. But there are also at least three frogs in our collection, one of them so plug-ugly that it stops visitors in their tracks. There is a large terra-cotta fish that is supposed to grace a Japanese home, but instead ‘swims’ in our garden.
|The Winterthur turtle, prized for its|
chipped nose and bargain price
|This black frog, visible now,|
will disappear as the
astilbe foliage grows
Several ceramic and terra cotta containers have passed from bearing annuals and perennials to the status of garden ornaments. These tend to be very large ones that, were they filled with plants, would each take a jumbo-size bag of potting mix. Instead, they grace perennial beds and rock gardens, providing focal points for visual interest.
|Our newest ornament, the 'silver|
sphere', is looking for a home
Our ‘silver sphere’, as we call it, has yet to find a permanent spot. It will likely spend several weeks migrating from bed to bed where it will ‘try out’ for a season-long gig. At our little house, there’s always room for one more – garden ornament, that is.