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Better Homes And Gardens Furniture

Ornaments give a landscape an extra dimension and add year-round appeal. These are the lessons learned from one space.

1. Use ornaments as finishing touches

Garden ornaments are more than just an afterthought. They can help you plan how to use your outdoor space and how it feels. A gate made of wrought iron can signify the entrance to a garden full of green. A lantern hanging from a tree can help you see things differently, while a bench can inspire you to take a break. These elements are beautiful and practical and offer subtle clues. Look up. Slow down. This gives a garden space a finished appearance in all four seasons. It is important not to overdo it.

Shown A pendant of weathered iron suspended from a tree atop a bed agaves.

2. Design for Outdoor Rooms

Susie Beall, an interior design professional, says that a furnished garden should not look too perfect or contrived. She and her husband Ed, an architect, designed the gardens on their sprawling acre in Southern California. Their goal was to make the outside spaces as comfortable as those inside.

Shown The succulents emerge from a pillar-shaped planter at the path entrance. An iron bell hangs from a nearby tree.

3. Patina is not to be afraid

The couple wanted a landscape that resembled a Tuscan farmhouse. They also remodeled their 1950s ranch house to look like a Tuscan farmhouse. The couple started with a basic, mostly green, palette that featured pepper, cypress and Chinese elm trees, alongside rosemary, acanthus and Virginia creeper. “Garden decor can get lost in a highly colorful landscape,” says Susie. Our mostly stone ornaments are what we love, and pop against the background. While some items may not be as well-known and expensive as others, they are still common ground with nursery and catalog finds so there is no need to feel too precious. Learn more about how they created seductive outdoor living spaces by using decorative objects.

Shown A lantern is placed on a stone shelf with a mirror that provides a view of the green world.

4. Recreate the exterior style of your home

Ornaments can be used to bring your home’s style into the landscape. Iron urns are placed on top of matched terracotta pedestals to complement the rustic stone-clad entrance. A pediment with dolphins and potted succulents is a focal point in the courtyard. The pavers are used to pick up the stone and then the grass is used to soften the path to the front door.

5. Dress Up Garden Entrances

Even in a small area, a series of distinct spaces connected by paths and passageways can add a sense to mystery and expanse to a stroll. The Bealls designed a path that starts at a wisteria-draped tree near their house and continues downhill to walk along terraces and walks. They also included steps that carry on the theme of weatherworn stone and eye-catching design. The path is indicated by iron gates and arches, many of which are from gardener’s supply catalogs and covered in vines. These mark transitions between different areas. Finials, perched on pedestals, and potted bougainvilleas, citrus trees, palms, further accent entryways.

6. Incorporate Furnishings into the Overall Scheme

Your outdoor spaces will look great if you choose the right style tables and chairs. They should be able to blend with other decorative items and materials. A pair of rust-finished iron dining tables were found by the Bealls at a local pottery yard. They can be used as a lounge area for drinks and conversation with additional chairs placed around the “carpet”.

7. Select Decor for the Outdoors

The couple also created an outdoor living space. However, instead of expensive all-weather wicker, roll-arm wicker chair from an import shop was chosen. They were weathered with spray-on marine varnish. Concrete pedestals from pottery yards double as additional seats and tables. The main gathering space is anchored by a black oval aluminum dining table.

8. Take lighting to a new level

Landscapes can be romanticized by the light of the moon or when electric lights shine on trees to illuminate paths. The Bealls went one step further with their lighting, hanging outdoor lanterns from the branches of trees. To accent their patios and roundabouts, they used tall streetlight-style lamps. These fixtures coordinate well with the lights on the exterior walls of the house.

9. Showcase Plant Collections

The Bealls not only selected their favorite plants for pedestals and pots but also grouped containers plants so they could be appreciated at eye level. Ed, whose passion is succulents–aeoniums, senecios, echeverias, agaves–displays them on a vintage pine table and a painted chest of drawers that he coated with a waterproofing sealer for wood. Susie says that if you put these plants in a bed, they would disappear. “Here you can see all their unique shapes.”

10. Accept Unusual Displays

The iron basket holds the tabletop succulents, so that they stand out from their plant beds.

11. Let Decorative Elements Make a Sound

The sound of water trickling is a great lure for exploring a garden. You want to listen to the music and find out where it came from. The liquid soundtrack to the herb garden is created by a fountain with an octagonal bowl. Another fountain, echoing the columnar form of nearby Italian cypress trees, bubbles among flower-like agaves and draws hummingbirds in large numbers. Both were scored in a pottery yard.

12. Get enticed with garden scents

An antique find is the fountain with lions heads that cools down the lounging area. Many plant perfumes waft from architectural containers and require their own blissful attention. The entryway urns are filled with honeysuckle, jasmine, and giant herb-garden container lemon blossoms. Night-blooming cereus is found in pots around the main table.

13. Plants can be used as ornaments

Some plants can be pruned or made to look more architectural. Italian Cypresses are one of the plants that is naturally shaped to provide the gardens with guiding lines. They rise up like columns against the hillside views of the Bealls. Other rosettes include Agave attenuate, which tumble around stone stairs and fountains in dynamic contrast with the ramrod-straight Cypress.

14. Ceramics add a splash of color to your life

The Bealls appreciated the tranquility of a green garden and were careful not to add any color accents. They positioned French doors outside their master bedroom with teal-blue ceramic pots containing foliage plants. This draws the eye to the patio.

15. Use found objects to make containers

An 1920s drinking fountain decorated with vintage Malibu tile has been repurposed to hold more Ed’s succulents.

16. Give your garden a live-in look

A garden can look like it has been growing for years by using ornaments with antique patina. The Bealls used treasures they had collected on their travels, including Gothic cathedral fragments that they bought from a salvage seller, to create landscape scenes. These stone pieces and spires, which were placed in a gravel clearing bring a lost-city feel to a garden that was only a few years old.

17. Give Some Historical Context

They placed a concrete horse’s head, a cast of the Parthenon’s original, beside a bench to create a similar effect. It was a garden ornament catalog find and can be reached out to touch by a seated visitor.

18. Add some Old World Flavors

Placing a birdbath with a fish in its center where the paths intersect gives it the appearance of an Old World fountain. The decor is complete with rusty lanterns, plant baskets and watering cans that were found at flea markets.

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