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Decorating with lawn accents

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Adding lawn and garden accents can transform your garden from ho-hum to wow!

Adding lawn and garden accents can transform your garden from ho-hum to wow!

When you’re ready for a dramatic look in your landscaping, it’s time to move beyond what you plant to what else is in your garden.  It’s time to add garden structures, lawn accents and other focal points to your landscape. 

Why a garden isn’t just plants

A real garden should be more than just a collection of plants and some mulch.  It should be a place to inspire and delight the senses, invoke a sense of calm and invite visitors to linger.  That means you need to consider creating views and vistas, seating areas and focal points.  That’s where garden and yard accents come in.

Ideas for lawn accents

Landscape accents or lawn accents can range from tiny statues that peek out from among the flowers to outdoor structures like gazebos.  So where does a beginner gardener start?  Here are some ideas for finding the right accents for your landscape design.

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Start with your home’s architecture

You probably wouldn’t expect to see a cottage garden surrounding an ultra modern house. Or Spanish-style statuary around a colonial structure.  If your home features traditional architecture, do some research on the styles and designs of gardens from that area or period of history.  Get an idea of what types of accents, plants and layout were typical for a home of your style in its original setting. 

There’s no need to duplicate the traditional designs exactly.  You’re just trying to gather an image of the themes and designs elements that compliment your home’s exterior.  Use that as the basis for your personal landscape choices.

Consider your region and climate when choosing plants and accents

Even if you wanted to recreate a traditional English garden, odds are the plants that thrive in the cool damp of a Cotswold cottage would not survive in dry Southern California or sunny Florida.  If you want a certain look, you’ll have to find the plants that work well in your area but provide the appearance of the traditional choices. 

The same applies to garden accents.  Items that would do well in a mild climate might crack and crumble if your area has extremes of cold or heat.  If you must have a certain type of garden accent, look for one in more durable materials like marble or cement the local climate.

Consider the scale of your home and the garden space

A small home with a postage stamp garden space is probably not the right place to add a gazebo or large classic statues.  Make sure the lawn accents you select are in proportion to the space.  Whether you want a garden fountain, a bench, some statuary or replicas of classic architectural elements, there are choices that will be the right size for your large or small space.

Think outside the box

Almost anything, from a well-used wheelbarrow to a salvaged piece of wrought iron fencing can become a backdrop for your plantings.  Combining standard lawn accents like a fountain or statue with reclaimed pillars, moss-stained benches or artfully arranged piles of rocks reminiscent of a crumbled wall brings interest to your landscape design.  Don’t be afraid to mix eras, especially if your home has a rustic or country look.  It can give your brand new garden the look of a long-loved garden that has spanned centuries or at least decades.

Browse design magazines and websites for unique garden accent ideas.  Take note of how they incorporated the accents into the plantings.  The placement of a statue or bench is just as important as the item itself.



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