Friday, March 7, 2014

How to Incorporate Antiques into Your Home Garden

By Gretchen Sawatzki

Planning a spring garden is fun but it can quickly become laborious and time-consuming. By the time most of us get done planting our vegetable gardens and flowers, we don't want to mess with the finishing decorative touches that make our gardens truly our own. But with a few vintage and antique items you can save time and money while creating a uniquely charming outdoor oasis you and your friends will love.

Adding antique or vintage urns can add varying heights and visual interest to your garden landscape. Choose an urn that comes with a pedestal. The extra height is perfect for potting your favorite weepy flowers and plants. By grouping multiples in odd numbers like three or five you can create a unique floral focal point that is sure to create that wow factor that your garden may be lacking. Mixing and matching vintage and antique urns can be fun and eclectic, but if simplicity is your preference find a pair of similarly sized urns to flank your garden entrance or walkway. It's a simple, symmetrical, and sophisticated way to make an entrance!

Get high impact with the least amount of work with antique statuary. Adding a single statue is a simple solution that adds drama and sets the mood in your home garden. And honestly what could be easier than moving a single statue into your outdoor space? No matter your statuary choice though, it's important keep scale in mind. You don't want something so large that it will overwhelm the space, and you also don't want a statue so small that it's virtually unrecognizable from your plantings. Statues should be visible and about 50% taller or shorter than your plantings. A statue that's 30" tall should be accompanied by flowers and plants no larger than 15".

An antique cast concrete cherub statue will set you back about $200. That's comparable to new cast stone products you will find at the local garden supply store but with all of the age and patina of an Old World masterpiece it's worth it. It's a great investment that will be a unique feature in your home garden and survive the outdoors year-round.

If you're the type of gardener that prefers to leave your garden decor out in elements, consider a cast iron gate. It is a great decorative addition that can outlast even the harshest of climates. Iron gates are not only durable, they also make an effective trellis for your favorites vines.

When adding a trellis to your home garden be mindful of its placement. You will want to install your gate about ten feet from your home's foundation to prevent any root intrusions and foundation breaks. Since vines love to climb and creep their way into brick mortar joints, windows, and spaces between siding its critical to keep them off your home's exterior. So, if you love the look of climbing vines, find a tall iron gate. It will give the vines room to grow in a controlled space.

If vines aren't your thing but matching decorative elements are, try antique and vintage salvaged building fragments. They come in all types of shapes, sizes and materials making them the quintessential garden object.  Building fragments are also easy to find in quantity since the buildings that they were originally made for required multiples to replicate a design on all sides of the building. For under $200 each fragment, you can acquire several similar pieces that are all-weather friendly and durable for many applications. Try stacking fragments and tucking your favorite flowers in between the gaps to create an original, one-of-a-kind display.
As you plan your garden this spring don't worry about those finishing touches. By adding a few inexpensive and durable antique and vintage items you can take an average garden to an extraordinary oasis!

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