A garden to most of us is nothing but rows of ornamental plants in front or edible ones in the backyard of the house. There may at the most be some sitting arrangements. Some may think about adding garden ornaments such as a fountain or a bird feed, but that is all. However, there is more to it than just that.
In its true form, a garden is a planned space where we grow different varieties of plants only for the pleasure of it. Even a kitchen garden is created for that only. It never meets our need, but the very thought of having fresh vegetables or herbs straight from our own garden induces us to grow them. However, if you come to think about it, gardening allows us to enjoy something more than the roses or broccolis we have planted, it enables us to enjoy the nature as a whole and that too more closely than we otherwise can.
Garden ornaments have been an integral part of the garden designs since the days when the Romans ruled over the world. A great many examples of such garden ornaments have been found lying buried under the ashes of Pompeii or at other places. However, styles have all changed because with time people have changed and so have their preferences and likings. For example, very few residential gardens today have those elaborate fountains that used to adorn the Roman gardens. Instead, we mostly have wall fountains or at the most small waterfalls at one corner only.
Bird feeders are more common. However, we have different types of it. Tubes are more popular than bird trays because it does not allow much of a waste. The tubes too come with various features and they all depend upon the type of food offered, which in turn depends upon the variety of birds you are trying to attract. For instance, if you want to attract humming birds, you will have to get liquid dispensers that dispense liquid nourishment such as sugar solution. At the same time, either the dispenser or the liquid must contain something red to attract the bird.
Other than that, you can get birdbath, birdhouses or even bat houses. Such items not only attract wildlife to your garden, but they are also perfect as garden ornaments. Therefore, while hunting for garden ornaments, you need not confine yourself to statues and columns only. Any manmade object that increases the aesthetic value of the place can be included in the list provided they increase the aesthetic value of the place. In fact, there are so many varieties of them that it is well neigh impossible to make a complete list. Yet we can mention a few categories of them only:
Bird baths, feeders and houses
Fountains, waterfalls and cascades
Statues, columns and urns
Gazing balls or yard globes
Small objects like weathervanes, wind chimes etc
Then again, if you have the space, you can install a small version of a pagoda or a sundial. Moon bridges over small water bodies too are attractive addition to your garden. Today items like plastic flamingoes or gnomes have become quite popular, especially over here in the United States. In addition, instead of gas or electric heaters, you can have items such as chimaeras, portable fire pits or fire bowls too. Most of them are not only beautifully designed, but also quite useful in keeping the chill away.
However, garden furniture is the most basic need of any garden and if you choose carefully these simply functional objects too can act as garden ornaments. Some wooden patio furniture has quite an ethnic value. However, tables, chairs and benches made from stone, wrought iron or even aluminum, if selected with care, can add to the ambience of the place. Those who are with creative bend of mind often use old discarded material to create outdoor furniture or other sculptures.
Let us remember Bathtub Madonna in this connection. It is also known as Lawn Shrine, Mary on Half Shell, bathtub Mary, bathtub shrine etc. Although these are commercially made today, earlier they were constructed by upending a discarded bathtub and burying one end of it. The shrine thus created generally houses Virgin Mary. However, if you wish, you can also put an image of Jesus or any other Saints in it. Surround the shrine with plants and you can thus create the focal point of the garden. On the contrary, constructed in a corner by a gently flowing waterfall, such a place can provide a perfect place for meditation. It is up to you to decide.