Garden Ornaments: The Garden’s a Stage

Darin Engh from Engh Gardens shows some of the best ways to add ornamentation to your garden.

When all is said and done, making ourselves at home in the garden may involve nothing more than including a smattering of objects we love among the plants we cherish. Some gardeners are tied to tradition and formality and will collect classical statues, urns, and fountains to provide the richness of history. Some gardeners have an undying affinity for rocks and river stones. For other gardeners, the lure will be garden gnomes or a subdivision’s worth of whimsical birdhouses. What matters most is that the ornament in your garden means something to you. That it quickens your heart and elicits your laughter. That seeing it tucked among the petunias or entangled among the sweet peas makes you remember, think, dream, and feel. It is the small details that really count and sets the stage for putting your signature on your garden.

Accent your garden with creative and whimsical items. We are unpacking our new spring garden accents right now and we are excited to share them with all of you! Items to display: birdbath, statuary, wind chime, stakes with hummingbirds, stepping stones with butterflies, ladybugs, turtles, wonderful mini garden sign coasters, pottery.

Style tip: select a large pot or urn. Then top it with a round piece of heavy glass and you have an easy garden-style end table for the patio or porch.

Here are some meanings of the ornaments you may choose to use:

• Wind chimes and other musical instruments for the garden draw music form the wind and produce lovely sounds. Spontaneity and unexpected harmonic sounds in the garden may enchant you. Choose an instrument with a sound that resonates in you.

• Statues bring beauty and meaning into the garden. Statues of animals and figures from myths bring the power of the message of their stories directly into our gardens. They can provide a focal point in the garden, a place to gather with friends and children for storytelling. Stones retain history and complement the garden. Stones have been viewed as the vital bones of mother earth as well as her hidden flowers and keys to her secrets and underworld realms. Kings, queens, sorcerers, alchemists, and healers have sought stones as power objects, statues symbolize, lucky charms, talismans, and amulets. In Japanese traditions, stones are symbols for mountains and islands—while raked stone gravel in Zen gardens can represent rivers, pools, and waterfalls. Some people bury crystals in their gardens and many of us display rocks we’ve collected that hold stories and memories.

• Lanterns: Lanterns are universally associated with enlightenment. Even in the story of Aladdin’s lamp, the power of the lantern is evident. When the lamp was rubbed, a genie emerged from it granting wishes. When we encourage our own “genie” (genius) to emerge from within, our communication with nature and the divine will be initiated. Only then can our wishes be addressed. Bring light into your garden to better guide you.

We also have a great whimsical Flower Bed large planter to show that is filled with primroses and herbs ready for spring.

For more information, you can visit Darin at Engh Gardens in Sandy or online at

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