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Turn your garden into a work of art

Plants and non-living materials can turn your garden into a piece of art.
Plants and non-living materials can turn your garden into a piece of art.
Photo by Jane Gates

Art in the garden is a popular trend. As we become more conscious of being environmentally friendly we look for ways to make our landscapes more decorative rather than depending on importing favorite plants and battling our climate to force them to look like greenhouse specimens or magazine photos.

What once looked like a limitation is now expanding into endless possibilities. Here are just a handful of ways to turn your garden into something exciting while keeping in harmony with your surroundings. Try looking at your landscape in a new, creative way. It’s good for your property, your imagination, your gardening health, the planet – and it’s fun!

Paint with your plants -- and more!

  • Choose color combinations and mass them together to form curtains, fountains, blankets or rainbows of hues.
  • Plant low-growing flowers or colored foliage into stripes, swirls, patterns or pictures.
  • Contrast colored foliage for year-round effects.
  • Blend different textured plants or tree barks for patterns and wind movement.
  • Add blasts of color with annual mix and match color.
  • Color around your plants with mulches.
  • Mix in non-living materials like colored mulch to create interesting shapes and forms between growing garden areas.
  • Use decorative containers to define plant space as focal points, screens, edgings or even hanging curtains.
  • Paint posts, sheds, poles, walls and other utilitarian items with a theme color that will make your garden pop in all seasons.

Convert trash into beauty.

  • Turn the boring and mundane into fine art sculptures to catch and surprise the eye.
  • Fill old bed frames, chipped sinks, broken concrete and even automotive parts with cascading plants like succulents.
  • Recycle old wood into new fencing, weathered raised garden bed sides or painted trellises.
  • Plant up broken chairs, old toilets, recycled window frames, tires or cracked barrels for artistic containers.

By thinking of the materials you use in your garden as art supplies, you are not limited in having to find the showiest plants – that may require continual maintenance to keep looking good. Instead, you can choose plants that will be easy to care for in your local climate and soil, give waste materials a new life and even decorate the practical to turn your garden into a masterpiece. Get creative. Gardening can be your new form of artful expression. Not only will you be making a more interesting landscape that is less work to maintain, but you will be helping Mother Earth. So, what do you have in your yard just waiting to be converted into garden art?

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