Why does everything look so messy in the garden?
Garden tours this season proved that this is the Year of the Tschochkes😕 those things that people collect and then toss willy nilly into the garden with little regard for aesthetics.? Lovely gardens marred by plastic alligators, resin fairies or cartoony frogs fishing, as one hort buddy says ?One had to avert one?s eyes.?
A trawl through various search engines turns up a terrifying amount of garden ?art,? junk, artifacts?tschockes. Proceed with caution, here?s how to avoid those eye-averting moments and to keep your garden from becoming plagued with stuff about to go out of style.
Every three dimensional thing in the world is fair game for a garden collection. Rocks and stones are the first most obvious things. And you move on through the planet’s vast repertoire: beach glass, vases; watering can buds (the things that make the droplets), pots of all sizes, old watering cans, grilles, even works of art. I personally like bowling balls, farm implements and rusty metal screens.
The tide of plastic flamingos even as an ironic statement has ebbed to be replaced by plastic animals of all shapes and sizes grazing on lawns. Gnomes are making a big comeback. There are more than 800 of them for sale on eBay right now. Resist.
What looks unusual, cute or even, dare we say, hilarious, has a short life span. You?ll be sick of it in a couple of years and they are hard to get rid of if lawn sales are any indicator.
The message here is keep it simple. Don?t add just any old thing or any new thing for that matter, if you can?t rationalize it. Make sure it looks good with everything else you have in the garden. Put collections together and see how they look. Doesn?t matter whether it?s pot shards or bits and bobs of metal, gathered together put in a display on a fence they?ll look better than being scattered about.
Use any central focal points for something important such as a piece of sculpture. In the meantime a lovely obelisk in the same scale will look gorgeous covered with vines and give you an idea of what you should be scouting for when you can afford it.
Being a collector is integral to being a gardener, that?s why we like plants so much?we collect them. But the material side of collecting holds a lot of pitfalls. Use restraint and a little bit of good taste and you?ll appreciate them even more down the road.