Saturday, May 30, 2009

Garden Accessories (part 2)

Every garden consists of many elements: bed plantings (of varying heights); focal points (to tie plantings into a cohesive whole (or lack thereof), balance between elements (including ground level and sky level); color (monochrome, riot of color, or lack of color); contrasts between adjacent plants or the individual plant elements (seed heads, petals, petioles, blades etc.); and contrasts between related elements and/or the other hardscaping (structures, ornaments, etc.); and add in movement, taste and odor for good measure.

Garden accessories should "fit into" an overall garden plan. Remember to keep balance, repetition and interest in mind as you consider accessories.

Sometimes, garden "rules" are suggested by the "garden experts". One example is: place your largest shrubs and plants at the rear of a bed and place the smallest at the front. Unconventional wisdom sometimes breaks those rules. It's your choice.

There are other times when the “rules” should be adhered to or your project may appear amateurish. I'm no “expert” but I understand proportions. Ornamentation and garden accessories should fit the scale of the garden. That is why I recommend taking photographs of items you're interested in purchasing to ensure they are not out of scale with the rest of your garden.

It doesn't make sense to plant a large palm or big-leaf banana tree alongside miniature plants--the miniatures will get "lost" in the overall picture. The same idea applies to the ornaments you select. Unless, there is a clear demarcation (such as a garden “room” where you're displaying like-sized gigantic [or miniature] items) keep your accessories in proportion with the rest of the garden.


Trellis (1- by 2-inch lath) to support a row of Scarlet Runner Beans.

I've made several trellises. They are an easy project. Draw your design, then staple the appropriately sized lath pieces together and fasten the completed article to a post (fence, wall, or whatever). Your imagination is the only limiting factor. I've used threllises to support Scarlet Runner Beans and a Honeysuckle vine. I'll build one to support my clematis (if it ever recovers from being eaten by slugs). For a wisteria, use much heavier materials because that trellis will (eventually) support a much greater weight.


I used the same lath spacing that I used for the garden tower to create these garden tables. Each top consists of one 5 1/2-inch wide 5-foot-long fence board cut into three equal lengths.

This table shows cross-bracing--necessary if someone is inclined to sit on it.

This is a table without its top.

This is a completed table (on the front porch).


  1. that's a really cool little side table. next thing we know, you're going to be making rocking chairs or some such!

    you could even show them your bed project (you know, the one you made for me? out of fence posts?)!

  2. i like the new trellis... very nice "arch" at the top... i think it'll be sweet when the plant grows up :D

  3. Sorry to say, the bed project went to the Goodwill Store sometime last year. It wasn't being used and I don't have any drawing or pictures of it.

    That new trellis is only one of several more to be built. Yeah, I think it's kind of cool, too.