Types of Garden Ornaments

Brief History

A garden ornament is defined as one of a number of items used to decorate and enhance gardens, parks, or other landscapes. The garden ornaments that will be discussed in this article are bird baths, fountains, sundials, furniture, statues, pedestals, and planters. These are some of the most commonly used ornaments, but they are by no means the only ones available. The earliest record of the use of garden decorations dates back to Ancient Rome.

Since then, the major styles that have cropped up have been the Italian Renaissance garden, the French garden, the English landscape garden, and Japanese garden. Gardens of these types are considered high art, and they can be difficult but rewarding to create and maintain.

Bird Baths

Regardless of the style of garden you choose to pursue, a bird bath can be an essential part of it. A bird bath is an artificial or man-made puddle in which wild birds can bathe and from which many animals can drink. They can take many forms, be simple or complex and can be made from a wide variety of materials. Chances are you will be able to find one that suits your style. If you keep it clean and full, you can turn a normal garden into a hot spot for a wide variety of beautiful birds.


Water can be used to decorate your backyard in other ways, too. While fountains were originally created for a strictly functional purpose – to provide people with water to drink – they have long been superseded by indoor plumbing and are now a beautiful way to decorate gardens of all types. There are many types of fountains to choose from, including tiered, self-contained, wall mounted and disappearing.


Sundials are used to indicate the time in a given geographic location based on the position of the sun. Sundials work by using the sun as a source of light and using a stationary object called a gnomon to cast shadows onto a surface. The position of the shadow indicates the time. To work properly, a sundial must be properly constructed and the gnomon must point to celestial North. Adding a sundial to your yard can be a fun way of tracking time, enhancing the space and it makes a great conversational piece. Just make sure you know what you’re talking about before you install one!


Garden furniture has been around for hundreds of years, and it dates back to the first use of garden ornaments in Ancient Rome. Like its indoor relatives, garden furniture is used to enhance a person’s comfort and experience. Furniture can be made out of hardy materials like metal and harder woods that are able to stand the harsh conditions of wind, rain, and sun. Some common pieces are chairs, swings, tables and benches.


Statues are a type of sculpture that typically represent select animals or individuals. Statues are usually life-sized versions of the characters they are meant to represent, and sometimes they may even be larger. The oldest known statue has been dated to over 30,000 years ago. Statues are an integral part of stately traditional gardens. Some people choose to decorate their yards with elegant statues depicting beautiful women or woodland creatures, whereas other people adorn their patios with whimsical representations of small woodland creatures or garden gnomes.


If you choose to adorn your personal garden with statues of any sort, you may want to think about investing in pedestals as well. The word “pedestal” typically refers to the stand upon which statues rest, and they are great for showing off statues that have great meaning or ones that are particularly central to the décor of your garden. Pedestals are also typically used as a platform for elegant vases and planters, though that type of pedestal is typically used indoors. Another name for a pedestal is a “plinth.” Raised pedestals are sometimes called “acropodiums,” which comes from a Greek words for “topmost” and “foot.”


If you want to grow plants in places other than the ground in your garden, you may want to consider using planters in your landscape design. A planter can be anything from a simple terracotta or plastic pot, to an elaborate jardinière hung from a window cill. Even a simple gardening supply store will carry a wide variety of planters. They come in many shapes and sizes to accommodate whatever type of plant you want to add to your collection. Many planters have holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain from the pot, which helps prevent root rot.

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