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Garden Decor, or “Garnishing the Garden”

From Garden Decor to Garnishing

My husband and I are great PBS fans, and in particular the detective series “Inspector Morse”. In the episode ’Service of the All Dead’, he asked the woman who was the church cleaner what she was doing at the church. Her reply, she was garnishing the church, which included the cleaning, polishing and displaying fresh flowers. “The House of the Lord must always be swept and garnished” she replied. I thought that was a lovely term and decided to apply it to the garden decor in my gardens. In my use of the word, it is to ornament or garnish the gardens with statutes, fountains, a bottle tree, garden furniture, etc. In each garden, I try to have something as a focal point unique to that garden. Sometimes the inspiration for a new garden comes from the ornament I want to use.

Garnishing to Create Themes

My most recent garden has an oriental theme. While at another daylily nursery I saw, and have since purchased, a beautiful birdbath carved out of granite. The basin has Koi fish carved into it. I installed an oriental style metal gated arbor which was bought on sale at half price. I had signs made displaying a Japanese saying on one and the English translation on the other which are mounted on the fence in the garden. I bought two garden hose brackets in the shape of dragons which are mounted on either side of the arbor, reinforcing the oriental theme. I planted the area with red and pink daylilies, free white bridal wreath shrubs from my sister, red vines on the arbor, and in spring with annual red and pink flowers. I hadn’t formerly planned this garden but just from the purchase of the Koi birdbath the whole thing fell into place.

I also try to use things in situations they weren’t meant to be used, like the garden hose holders. They will never hold a garden hose but are perfect for the overall theme of the garden. When choosing embellishments for your garden, try to think ‘outside the box’ and have fun creating a very personal garden.