Garden ornaments


Sometimes all it takes is an eye-catching accessory to spruce up an outfit.

Same with gardens.

"The right piece can make the yard," says Sandy Gamble, buyer for American Plant Food in Bethesda.

The "right piece" can be anything from a metal, wood, cement or ceramic wall plaque to a gazing ball, a statue, bust or sculpture, a whimsical fence post topper, or even an antique gate. Options abound at garden centers, antique and collectible shops and artists' studios. The object can even be homemade.

Covering a bowling ball or a large-diameter piece of PVC pipe (plant stand) with a mosaic of crockery shards, pebbles and sea glass is a creative weekend project that can include the kids and produce a unique piece of garden art.

Some gardeners want a traditional look, others crave something unique, distinctive. Some want both decorative and useful, like the stained glass and copper birdfeeders and birdhouses made by Steve Baker of Whollyterra Studio in Hampden. In any case, choosing the "right piece" is very personal.

"A lot of people know their garden is lacking something, and they know where they want it to be, but they don't know what they want," says Gamble.

Gamble talks with clients about where they want the object, what colors they have, and their personal style, then gives them her ideas. Other people prefer to hunt for themselves, searching for something unusual made by local artisans.

Tim Ruewer of Happy Hollow Nursery in Cockeysville makes cement gargoyles, seashells and leaves.

"The leaves are actual size, some are a foot across," he says. Most of his objects are weather resistant, though the leaves need protection from the elements.

Whatever you choose be sure that, like Baker's birdfeeders, it will survive outside.

"I've had one hanging out for six years," he says.


Merrifield Garden Center

8132 Lee Hwy PO Box 848 Merrifield, VA 22116 877-560-6222 703-560-6222

American Plant Food

5258 River Road Bethesda, MD 20816 301-656-3311 or 7415 River Road Bethesda MD 20817 301-469-7690

Mill Valley Garden Center

3401 Chestnut Ave. Hampden, MD 21811 410-889-6842

Carriage House

of Schneiders

700 Wyndhurst Ave. Baltimore, MD 21210 410-889-2117

Happy Hollow Nursery

12212 Happy Hollow Road Cockeysville, MD 21030 410-359-4548

Georgetown Pottery and Design

PO Box 63 Galena, MD 21635 410-648-5387 e-mail:

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