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Garden Art...from Trash?

by Jane Parr-Whitehead

April begs me to do something outdoors! How about you? The
weather is about right all over the USA for gardening. Besides
planning what to put into your garden as far as plants, you need
to think of the special additions that make a garden unique.
But...Garden Art...from Trash?

Gardens need "bones" to ground them. No pun intended!
Garden sculptures, hedges, specimen trees, and shrubs all help
make good bones!

Now what about those extra touches that make your garden
distinctively yours? Below is a list of ideas that you can use with
your own twists to create all kinds of garden goodies for your
own garden, or to give as gifts!

Broken plates-don't throw away those chipped plates,
especially the pretty ones! Stick them into the garden with the
chipped parts hidden by the dirt. Alone or grouped, they make
a statement! Uneven numbers work best.

Mirrors and Cds-reflective surfaces attract birds and are fun
in the sunlight. Make mobiles and hang from tree limbs! With a
large mirror, one can place it against a fence, behind the plants
and enjoy the reflections of your garden lighting. Our dog uses
our big mirror to scope out squirrels without being seen. Funny
to watch! She crawls into the greenery beneath the trees and
watches in the mirror for any unsuspecting squirrel to enter the
bed. She hasn't caught any yet but she sure likes to chase them!

More mirrors!-broken mirrors can be found in the trash and
snatched for use in your garden. Glue with mirror adhesive to
fences, garden sheds, and anywhere you want to make a space
look larger. Use the pieces in a loose mosaic form and you have
a one of a kind piece of art!

Rusted metal anything-the rusted look is very "in" now and
metal can be found easily. Use your imagination and use large
rusted metal car parts, old gates, iron grates from demolished
old homes, and any metal you can get your hands on to create
unique garden elements. If you cannot cut or weld these
yourself, try finding someone who can and offer to trade a
piece of garden art for their work.

Fabric-how about an old beach umbrella that you strip down
to the bare spokes and cover with silk greenery and tiny
Christmas lights? Inserted into the ground where light and a bit
of fun are needed, the look is very "partyish"! Even better if you
drape tulle, chiffon, netting, etc. over the umbrella! Swagged
like you were draping a scarf over your shoulders. If it is to be
a permanent fixture, use it as a trellis! Wonderful with lights!

More fabric-these same fabrics can be used to make "tent like"
areas for the private enjoyment of your family. While not usually
found in trash bins, the fabric can be had very inexpensively in
close out bins at fabric stores. Bamboo poles make the
structure. Even more dramatic beside a pool.
An informal cabana!

Pottery-broken pottery is found at garden centers and
nurseries. Sweet talk them into letting you have some! Large
broken pots look great as is, or can be faux painted to look a
s though they are centuries old. Or try smaller pieces glued
together to make a sculpture all your own. Paint, glue mirrors
or tile pieces to make a mosaic, or leave as is. Make this large
enough to make a "statue" in your garden! You can add the
necessary "works" to make this a fountain!

Lamp stands-old lamps taken apart, tall stands of any kind,
and anything that you can add that is tall and slender can be
weatherproofed to make a grouping of candle stands for the
garden. Again, three, five, or seven work best. With or without
candles, these are attractive and catch the eye! Especially
among low growing flowers. Or you can line your driveway
with these for a luminary look!

Fence Posts-an old, tall, but sturdy fence post makes a great
pole for use as a flag hanger. Just screw the hardware into the
post. Mine has plant hangers and a small lantern hung from it
also. A welcoming sight!

Potpourri of Ideas-Are we there yet? Are your creative juices
flowing? Here are some off the wall ideas. Do you have a
broken box fan? The square grates are wonderful for painting
and hanging as faux gates, wall decor, or wherever your
imagination takes you! Snip out a design from the grate for an
even better look.

Have an old touchier lamp? It too is great for
painting and "planting" in the garden, decked out
with plants on the top. Bury the bottom to keep it from tipping,
or you can add concrete to the base. Look around the house
and garage and see with new eyes. Check out the dumpsters
and the neighbors trash!

Old TV tables can be cut out for plant pots to sit down in.
How about window frames? Old pool balls, golf gear, fishing
gear, boat parts and oars, wooden anything! Some of these
things need to be painted with clear or colored outdoor spray
paints to keep them looking good, whether the look is "old"
or new.

A note: Always think about this...in some places, taking
something from someone's trash or going through a dumpster,
is illegal. Please check local ordinances before you take a
chance. And, another thing to keep in mind... sometimes you
may find people with "not so nice" intentions hanging around
dumpsters. All I am saying is...always be careful!
Happy Decorating!

About the Author
Jane Parr-Whitehead, Palm City, Florida, USA
Jane Parr-Whitehead has been a professional Home Decorator for over 15 years. She now offers “Home Decorating via the Internet” from her site. She, also, is the editor of a monthly Home Decorating Newsletter where you can enjoy reading about Home Decorating, Decorating Childrens rooms, Animal Print Decorating, and much more. Visit her site at http://Decorativeartsbyjep.com/

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