House & Home

Notes from the Garden: The Art of Garden Accessories

An exquisite garden is a well-­planned one, in which each plant has been selected to compliment one another in size, shape and color. Accessories such as benches, sculptures, mirrors and lanterns can be used in order to enhance the magnetism of the environment where the garden is located.

Sculptures can accentuate sweeping lawns when they are large in size. Large sculptures should be positioned on an angle with corners of the landscape. Small sculptures can be placed inside borders and surrounded by plants. I suggest using any kind of sculpture made of sandstone or marble, because when these materials are exposed to the elements they will age gracefully. Neutral-colored frogs, bunnies and turtles have a magical appearance when placed in flowerbeds or close to pools and fountains. They also can be placed on top of birdbaths so they are more visible from a distance. Certain statues can even be connected to a hose or pump and spout water into a nearby pool or pond, adding even greater appeal to the senses.

Birdbaths can have an important use: centralizing views. They should be placed in the center of the beds, or bordering on different garden structures. Choosing the correct height is very important—usually between three to four feet is ideal. However, some smaller kinds that are lower to the ground shaped like shells or flowers and made of sandstone can look amazing along the edges of flowerbeds, shrubs or under trees.

Garden spheres made of stainless steel, concrete or slate give a clean, refined look to landscaped areas due to their simplicity and shape. Stainless steel spheres such as those made by Blomus in Germany will reflect sunlight and moonlight. These spheres float and will look fabulous in swimming pools, ponds or fountains. Spheres made of French Poplar wood exhibit gorgeous colors when weathered, matching the natural tones of the tree bark.

Outdoor mirrors are a British garden tradition, yet are usually overlooked in our English country–style gardens. When hung outside, they can reflect the beauty of a garden. These mirrors can be found in iron, wood and acrylic, and can be hung near porches, pool houses or any outside wall located near the garden.

Oriental garden stools, made from ceramic in different colors and shapes, look very special when they are placed along borders, gardens or by swimming pools. These seats are a long-­time oriental tradition in gardens. Philippe Starck has recreated them from weather-­resistant acrylic in an amazing array of colors. These accent the outdoor space superbly because of the tone and transparence of acrylic. More traditional benches in concrete or wood bring a romantic feel to wooded areas under the tree canopies.

Lanterns and torches should be placed in permanent spots along areas that need illumination. The glow of a candle is the ideal tool to give your garden more intimacy. Standing torches made of stainless steel are very durable and have a distinct sophisticated look. Citronella oil should be used to fuel these torches and will help keep the undesired nighttime bugs at bay. Lanterns placed by the steps, patios or hanging from trees or pergolas reflect just the right amount of light to compliment the beauty of outdoor areas. Larger lanterns, made of stainless steel with tempered glass, can improve the overall look of outdoor seating areas and may also be used on top of tables.

Pots and planters should be outside year-­round. Made from concrete, fiberglass or metal, these pots, planters and urns can be used year-­round in Hamptons weather. The larger styles give majestic structure to driveways and entrances, especially when elevated by columns. I even love to see them when they are covered in snow.

All these details compliment our gardens, making them even that much more special. Personalizing them with the appropriate combination of elements is important. Different accents should impart movement, character and interest to the landscape. Every single well placed detail will amplify the harmony of nature.

There are numerous ways to utilize garden accessories to achieve a better and more attractive landscape design. Most important, for Unlimited Earth Care, is the character and spirit that we bring to each landscape. We work very carefully on our selection of European items that we have in our showroom, finding the appropriate objects and furniture that will flow smoothly with each individual design.

Landscape Designer, Writer and Lecturer Frederico Azevedo is the CEO of Unlimited Earth Care, providing design and landscape maintenance to the Hamptons for over 20 Years. For more info, call 631-725-7551 or visit unlimitedearthcare.com.

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