Decorative Wire Ball in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Decorative Wire Ball (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

As we wander about living our lives, we often come upon various curiosities, many that can be used for purposes other than originally intended.  In other words, embellishments for our homes and gardens.  Yes, I’m talking about trinkets, tchotchkes, unnecessary objects-pieces that we collect through our life time, some that become beloved treasures.  And it’s funny when you consider some of the things that could potentially become art in your home, garden, or both.

Whimsical Ornaments in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Whimsical Cup holders converted to garden art (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

When it comes to decorating, I love bringing the outside in.  I always have garlands of cones, greens, or twigs hanging over my doorways, leaving no entryway unadorned.  I like to wander about tag sales and flea markets, hunting for unique pieces that I can turn into ornamentation for inside or out.  Years ago, I found these neat antique garden cup holder stakes, with metal that twisted around to hold a beverage, and a decorative flower atop each one.  There were four that I promptly brought home, cleaned up and spray painted bright fuchsia, yellow, blue and orange, finishing by hand painting the flowers.  To this day, I still adore them, they make me smile.

Stone & Orb in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Stone & Orb (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

The benefit of creative ornamentation collecting is that you can use anything you stumble upon . . .  literally.  I use old tree limbs and unusually shaped rocks, for example.  Limbs are tucked in between low growing plants, quickly covered as the offshoots clamor aboard.  Rocks can rest front and center as a focal point, be used as a base for something else to stand on, or positioned to protrude from the soil at a curious angle.  Of course,  you can always pile a few rocks or tie some branches together for an altogether different effect.

Grapevine Railing in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Grapevine Railing holds hopps vine (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Vines are another element pretty much free (but not always easy) for the taking.  I use wild grape vines (make sure it’s not poison ivy!) for a railing on my foot bridge.  I love the look as the bark sheds and peels, yet it works well for other decorative vines (I’m trying hopps right now) to grow on as well.  (Kind of ironic, vines growing on vines . . .)  Use care because some wild vines are hard to access, and very heavy to move once cut in length.  They should also be replaced every few years if you’re using them to hold any weight.

Colorful Glass Orb in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Colorful Glass Orb (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

One of my favorite objects are orbs of all shapes and materials. I have gorgeous granite balls purchased from Smith and Hawkin in Long Island; well worth the investment. I adore glass globes, both transparent, blown with swirls of color, or mirrored like old mercury glass.  Most glass pieces are safe outdoors as long as you keep them up from the ground.  My globes remain outdoors as I enjoy seeing them glistening amongst the subtle winter foliage and many appear effervescent when covered in snow.  Groupings are especially attractive; when my stachys were smaller, I used granite balls in between the plants to add contrast.  You can also use round objects to complement other round objects.  For example, I use round granite balls near my circular bird bath to echo both the theme and the soothing grey colors and textures of each.

Ceramic Bird House in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Ceramic Bird House(photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Ornaments can be used to comfort your feathered friends, as well. Handmade bird houses make a wonderful addition to a garden or pathway, while providing a welcoming habitat for birds to nest.  I have two unusual pieces in my garden that have openings with nesting potential; one had been adopted by little chickadees and one was explored by visiting bees.

Limited only by your space and collecting skills, the possibilities are endless for amassing intriguing ornamentation.  Remember that the next time you’re walking through a flea market and you spot some unusual novelty-it just might become your favorite extravagance.

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