Garden Outdoor Decor

A beginners' guide to using natural accents

Natural accents can be a simple, quick and inexpensive way to add a touch of class and beauty to your garden. Some people are hesitant to use natural accents because they aren't sure how to use them, but it can be very easy.

For those completely new to gardening, start with something very basic and easy. Decorative rocks are a quick way to change the look of your garden without investing too much time or money. Try quartz with its bright and sparkly flecks in the stone, or fieldstones which can add to a natural garden atmosphere. Some companies also specialize in handmade rocks with quotes or expressions on them, made to fit your personal style and tastes. Add a cluster of rocks near the garden, use them to create a small sitting area, or create a small pathway from the garden to the house.

Logs are another great way to add natural accents to your garden. They can be used to create garden fences or to create small and larger flower beds. Logs work well because they require little maintenance, and only need a firm push into soft ground to anchor them in place.

More advanced gardeners are advised to look into decorative ponds, though most are not natural, but man-made. A home improvement store or online retailer will offer a host of options at affordable prices. You can choose between different sizes, shapes and even types. The best versions act similar to a swimming pool in that they consist of rigid plastic shells covered with vinyl pond liners. They are easier to clean and easier to install. Other, more expensive options, are fish ponds and fountain ponds. These add a touch of elegance, but require regular feeding of the fish and routine cleaning and maintenance.

Another option is to add a rock garden to your lawn. You can use logs or pieces of wood to create the size and shape you want, though a small rectangle is the most popular choice. Outline the rock garden, and fill with high grade, fine sand. On top of the sand you will need to add several different rocks in various sizes, shapes and colors. To maintain the rock garden, all you need is a small rake and some imagination!

Although not entirely natural, a wood garden trellis covered in roses or climbing plants can make an attractive addition to a garden and allow you to use vertical rather than just horizontal space - great for smaller yards or gardens!

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to add natural accents to your garden that are easy and inexpensive. Don't be afraid to experiment - try a few, choose the one that's right for you, and let your garden be a reflection of your creativity!

By Jennifer Eblin