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Frugal Garden Decor

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A rock painted as a garden marker.

Adding decorations to your garden does not have to be expensive. This is a guide about frugal garden decor.


Solutions: Frugal Garden Decor

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Reuse Lamp Base in Garden Decorating

Keep an eye open for big table lamps at thrift stores or yard sales. Remove the top part that holds the light bulb (usually there is a small screw that will release it) and tear out the wiring, so you have just the lamp-base. Place it in the garden or on a deck for a pedestal which can be used to hold a gazing ball, decorated bowling ball, or potted plant

By Penny from Morris, NY

Article: Recycled Garden Reflectors

Reflector globe.Create something beautiful from recycled objects!

Approximate Time: 1 hour


  • glass ceiling fan globe
  • clear silicone
  • glass plate
  • CD
  • 4 inch PVC pipe remnant
  • gold spray paint
  • several different colors of acrylic craft paints
  • white spray paint


  1. Decide how tall you would like the pillar of your gazing ball/reflector, leaving a few extra inches for where you'll place in the ground for extra support.
  2. Reflector supplies.

  3. Spray paint gold and allow to dry.
  4. Turn the plate upside down, so as to not collect rainwater, and adhere it to the top of the PVC pillar using clear silicone.
  5. Centered on this, adhere the CD, shiny-side-up, using a small amount of silicone.
  6. Next apply silicone around the lip of the glass ceiling globe and center this over the CD.
  7. Reflector CD.

  8. Allow to dry thoroughly before placing in your garden. When the sunlight hits the CD, it will make the globe sparkle with iridescent colors.
  9. For an even simpler gazing ball, squirt some colored craft paints inside a clear round glass globe and turn the globe to create swirls. After this dries, spray the inside with white spray paint. This fills in any gaps, and looks every bit as beautiful as store bought gazing balls, if not more so. This one happened to perfectly fit inside the pillar, eliminating need of a plate.
  10. Reflector bowling ball.

By Theodora from TX

Tip: Paint Garden Markers on Rocks

A rock painted as a garden marker.We decided to use what we had in abundance to mark our garden rows last year. So we painted the veggie names on large rocks we have all around our house and yard. We simply found some flat-ish rocks and wrote the names on with a paint marker. I added the smiley face because cucumbers are my favorite.

I sprayed them with a clear coat so that the labels do not wash away. I was able to use them again this year. We simply place them on the end of the rows and voila, your rows are clearly marked.

By HICKCHIC3 from North Augusta, SC

Tip: Spray Paint Inexpensive Garden Birdbath

I have been wanting a birdbath for quite a while and was not willing to pay the $50 that the stores wanted; so, I bought a cheap $10 plastic birdbath and spray painted it with Krylon Plastic paint. Looks just like one of those expensive ones for approximately $15.

The directions for my plastic birdbath suggest weighting the base with sand, which is a good idea, but weighting it with water is better and cheaper! If you live in colder climes, you can just tip the base over, use the water for your plants, and store your birdbath for the winter

By Sandy from Crystal Lake, IL

Tip: Rocks for the Garden

On our spring vacation, hubby and I went to a beach with LOTS of beautifully rounded stones. I gathered some up to put around the statues and other garden ornaments in my apartment garden. I make sure that I don't spend too much money on any garden decorations, as it is a public space and things disappear, but the few rocks make the area left bald by the gardeners look much nicer!

Note: Make sure that wherever you gather rock, there is a LOT of material. Some beaches have cobbles placed there specifically against erosion.

You can also use other natural materials such as drift wood - I put several large pine cones around the rocks, too.

By pamphyila from Los Angeles, CA

Tip: Grow Succulents around Tree

Grow Succulents around Tree

It is easy to make the ordinary look special. I have Sedums growing in vast amounts, too much! I broke several off and simply just stuck in the dirt around a tree. Once they really took off, I added to the look by placing big broken cement rocks around them.

    By linda [46]

    Article: Garden Accents: How to Add Charm without Adding More Work

    How to Add Charm without Adding More WorkAccessorizing with non-living things like birdbaths, sundials, and garden stakes is an inexpensive way to add charm to your garden without creating any more work. Here are seven classic garden accents and some tips for incorporating them into your landscape.

    7 Classic Garden Accents

    • Birdbaths: Not only do birdbaths attract birds, they are also a great way to cover up bare spots where nothing seems to grow. You'll need to keep them clean and filled with fresh water if you hope to attract birds, but the small amount of work this requires is well worth the effort. To create a finished look, place a birdbath on top of a border made from decorative crushed rock or pavers, and then place pots of geraniums or marigolds around the base to add some color.

    • Gazing balls: Use their reflective properties to "fill in" bare spots with the mirror image of surrounding plants, and bring light and color to shady parts of the garden. If you have small children or pets and are worried about the potential of broken glass, try a ball made from stainless steel or copper instead.

    • Tree benches: A comfortable circular bench built around a large tree can make a big statement. It will give you a place to sit and relax, and it will also take the pressure off of trying grow grass (and mow grass) beneath a large tree.

    • Arches and arbors: An arch or an arbor will give you height and provide a focal point in the yard without the pruning and upkeep required of a small tree (you can always go crazy and plant climbing vines next to it later on). Free do-it-yourself plans are widely available on the Internet, and most garden centers and home stores carry kits in a variety of styles that are inexpensive and easy to assemble.

    • Dry Streambeds: A dry streambed is easy to make and doesn't require any of the maintenance of a full-blown water feature. Dig a shallow trench shaped like a gently winding stream. Lay down a plastic liner and cover it with gravel. Add large rocks and medium-sized stones to the edges. Sit back and relax. You've just eliminated another area to mow.

    • Tree stumps: If you have a protruding tree stump, it doesn't have to be an eyesore. With a little creativity, you can use it to your advantage. Add a mound of topsoil around the base of the stump and plant a few low-growing evergreens. Use the top of a stump as a pedestal to showcase a pot filled with flowers, a sundial, a small piece of statuary, or even a bird feeder.

    • Garden stakes: Decorative garden stakes are both pretty and practical. From the sassy to the demure, use them to guide garden hoses safely around plants, remember what is planted where, support a floppy stem, or to insert a bit of color and whimsy into a garden bed.

    Remember to Use Restraint

    Adding charm with garden accents calls for a certain degree of tasteful restraint. Think of it like getting dressed, only your garden is the clothing and the garden accents are the jewelry. You don't want to ruin the overall look by "over accessorizing". Anything overdone in terms of garish colors or excessive numbers can end up looking tacky and detract from, rather than add to, your yard's character.

    By Ellen Brown

    Tip: Plastic Flowers for Outdoor Decor

    If you have a summer home, as well as a winter home, the garden can really get away from you! We go to the dollar store and purchase lots of colorful plastic flowers. We "plant" these instead of real ones, in both gardens, and have a beautiful garden, with minimal work, all season! My neighbors keep trying to water them for me!

    Tip: Garden: Decorative Snails

    It's a gorgeous day here in Salem, OR, so my decorating bug got to me. I set up some veggie carriers and some milk carton cubes outside, and got my durable snails out. Cornelius in the door was making sure I did it all to his liking.

    I will be submitting his "Kitty Wagon" later this week. Watch for it.

    Source: I got a cleaning bug and the Cornelius helped me do it all.

    By Sandi from Salem, OR

    Decorative snails on plastic crates along with fall colored silk flowers. Cat looking out of the screen portion of a storm door. View of the decorations on both sides of the door with cat.

    Tip: Decorating Your Outdoor Space

    Decorating Your Outdoor SpaceUse items that are otherwise collecting dust and garage sale finds to decorate your outdoor space. We found this sewing machine in a trash pile and purchased the table for $1 at a garage sale. We needed to quickly add some color for an event that would require outdoor photos, so I entwined the blue silk flower swag with the live plants in the bucket and no one knew the difference. The watercan was purchased on clearance at the end of season clearance. My neighbor often tells me she always enjoys looking out her kitchen window to see the "pretties" on my front porch.

    By Anajz from Kansas

    Tip: Natural Garden Decor

    Use Bees As Garden Decor

    Use Bees As Garden Decor

    Really the only decor I use are the beautiful butterflies and bees that come around to visit.

    By Peggy from Elizabethtown, NC

    Tip: Garden Color Before Spring

    After a long drab winter, are you longing for color in your garden? No need to wait for the blooms of spring and summer to liven the scene. Hang a few mylar holographic windsocks for an awesome visual show. The 51 inch mylar strips are laser printed to reflect the light in a rainbow of colors. Also useful for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden and feeders. To get the attention of hummingbirds, use the red one. It's the tiny hummers favorite color.

    These beautiful windsocks are long lasting and economical and easily shipped for a great gift during any season. A spritz of window cleaner livens the colors after a period of use. I like to match the colors of holidays, and the color scheme in my garden for the year. My favorite is the gorgeous aqua color.

    Tip: Using Rocks and Shells for Decorations

    Remember that natural objects can be a part of your decoration. You can have clusters of rocks you have gathered in a container - Or, in the summer, sea shells. I live by the beach now and have filled glass jars from the thrift shop with shells for lovely accents. Very Martha Stewart!

    Article: Adding Character and Charm to Your Yard & Garden

    Adding Character and Charm to Your Yard & GardenGood gardens are simply beautiful, but great gardens are more than just beautiful, they have character and charm. They usually contain a number of "non-living" elements that are designed to add form and function to an already beautiful space. These elements add structure and visual interest without detracting from the living elements of the landscape. Here are a few classic ideas that will add instant character and charm to your yard and garden.

    Bird Baths & Sun Dials

    One of the great joys of gardening is being close to nature, and adding a bird bath or sundial is a simple way to draw in more nature to your landscape. Even if you don't feed backyard birds, offering a birdbath will entice birds flying by to visit your garden for an occasional drink or bath. The mere presence of a bird bath gives visitors the illusion that birds are nearby, and at the very least provides you with a miniature reflection pool.

    Sundials add an ornamental, yet functional, element to the garden by representing the passage of the seasons and calculating local solar time. Flat sundials can be perched on the tops of tree stumps or placed on bare spots in the garden where nothing seems to grow. Tall shadow sticks or obelisks add height and visual interest.

    Stepping Stones

    Dressing up your garden walkways with a few well placed stepping stones is an easy and effective way to add interest to your outdoor space. Well-designed paths beckon to be walked along and lure curious visitors to places of discovery throughout the garden. Stepping stones come in many shapes and sizes. Most craft stores and garden centers offer a variety of do-it-yourself stepping stone kits that are easy to personalize. Add children's handprints, pieces of broken china, shells, leaves or other odds and ends that have meaning to you.

    Arches & Arbors

    If you have an existing fence, hedge or border, consider adding some style to it with an archway or arbor. This gives your garden an instant focal point and creates strong vertical interest. Passing through an arch or arbor gives garden visitors a sense that they are entering a special place. Arbors can be rustic or formal in style and can used to create entrances or exits to places in the garden, or as partitions to separate outdoor "rooms." They also add space to your garden by allowing you to grow plants vertically.

    Benches & Chairs

    Adding Character and Charm to Your Yard & Garden

    Benches and chairs invite you to stop and relax and take in the tranquility of the garden landscape. Having a place to "stop and smell the roses" also provides you with an outdoor seating area for quiet conversation and a place to go for inner reflection. An old wooden chair and small side table can transform an already beautiful garden into a functional outdoor living space.

    Fountains & Water Features

    Water symbolizes life, and nothing can transform a garden landscape faster than the addition of a water feature. Moving water soothes the gardener's soul and depending on the type of feature, can also offer the opportunity to grow new and different types of plants in the garden. Whether it's a quiet reflection pond, a cascading waterfall or a simple table-top fountain, the addition of a water feature will add a serene and magical aesthetic to your garden space.

    The Serenity of Sound

    Introducing an element of sound to your garden not only adds ambience, it functions as a way to drown out the sounds of a busy day. The rustling of tall ornamental grasses, soft wind chimes in the distance or the calming sound of trickling water all help block out neighborhood traffic and keep backyard conversations private. Eco-friendly gardening practices and native plants will invite singing birds, chirping crickets and calling frogs to your garden space.

    Adding a few "non-living" features to your yard and garden is a great way to add character and charm without adding a lot of additional work. These elements can be used to create points of interest that compliment your living landscape, camouflage areas where nothing seems to grow, and provide another opportunity for you to let your own unique personality shine through in the garden.

    By Ellen Brown

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    Below are photos related to this guide.

    Display Rock Collection In Garden

    I've been collecting rocks for quite a while, a lot of agates, but I also love bizarre rocks. I realized it was a waste to keep them in containers in the house, so I created this garden for all to enjoy. I especially like heart shaped rocks, and if you look carefully, they surround my Hibiscus.

    By Tammy

    Display Rock Collection In Garden

    Garden Gate Decor

    A favorite photo that says "Come into the garden." Simple yet very inviting.

    By Elaine from York, PA

    Hedge People

    We were on our way home from Toronto, stopped in a small town east of Toronto and spotted this creation. We all thought it was awesome. Just had to share it.

    Hedge People