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Working Ornaments for the Herb Garden

by Carole McCray

Garden ornamentation is another fun side to planting an herb garden.  Your inventive spirit takes over and decorating the garden becomes a personal statement.  Two qualities—beauty and function- are important elements to consider when you introduce ornaments into the herb garden.  Your Growise Center has affordable, charming, and useful garden ornaments.


Garden furniture can be both beautiful and useful.  Benches, tables, and chairs lend themselves to making the garden inviting and relaxing.  Upon completion of an herb garden, a garden bench made of cypress was the first ornament I added to the garden.  It seemed only natural to choose a bench first.  Following garden chores, it offers a resting place where plants are enjoyed at eye-level; it beckons as a place for contemplation, and it becomes a decorative feature in the garden.

Garden furniture can be found in wood, canvas, wicker, metal, or stone. Garden style and particular colors will determine what type of garden furniture will ‘go’ with your garden.  Soft shades of blue, green, gray, or natural tones impart a calming effect to the garden and go well with herb plants.


The precept of combining beauty and usefulness can be applied to decorative objects in the garden.   Here are examples of beautiful garden ornaments with a purpose.

SUNDIAL—an instrument with a dial to chart time with the edge of a shadow cast by the sun onto a metal gnomon, angled at 45 degrees; usually the focal point of the garden, centered within herb plantings.  They can be made of brass, pewter, copper, aluminum, marble, bronze, seasoned wood, stone, or granite, and lend old-fashioned charm to the garden.

BEE SKEP—traditional as the sundial but not so functional as years ago when used as a working hive.  Made of wood, straw, or wicker, a bee skep gives a distinctive touch of the past to today’s herb garden.

BIRDHOUSES—simple or fancy shelters in architectural designs that duplicate schoolhouses, churches, log houses, chalets, A-frames, English cottages, Victorian gingerbread homes, and even your own dwelling.  Birdhouses designed for bluebirds, wrens, sparrows, and other species are handsome, practical garden ornaments.

BIRDFEEDERS—functional and good looking styles designed to foil squirrels, feed a special species like hummingbirds or other wild birds, hold suet or particular seeds, or offer fruit to seasonal birds like orioles and tanagers in the summer.

BIRDBATHS—reservoirs of water in terracotta, stone, concrete, ceramic, or metal for birds to splash, drink, and entertain you with their aquatic antics.  Water adds a peaceful note to the garden.

BUTTERFLY STONES—flat, smooth, and placed about the garden to attract butterflies to sun themselves.

BUTTERFLY HOUSES—mounted on a post or tree for butterflies to take their rest.

HERB MARKERS—in wooden, ceramic, or terra cotta for attractively identifying herb plants.

CONTAINERS—terracotta pots, stone troughs, or wooden tubs—their subdued colors complement the soft greys and greens of herbs.  Pots can be moved about the garden to different spots during the season.  Fill lighter weight pots with tender perennials for easy moving indoors to winter over.


Access to plants in the garden is essential if you are to utilize the herbs.  An attractive path serves both as a decorative and functional feature of the herb garden.  Paths can be designed with old bricks, varying shades and sizes of stone or gravel, wood chips, or cocoa hulls.  Subtle changes in color and irregular textures in stone or brick give a pleasing, interesting effect.  With gravel, use lighter shades to brighten a dark area; darker shades to heighten distance or space.

Should not the outdoors be given the same special treatment as the interior of your home; your garden full of beautiful and useful objects.    Your Growise Center is where to find beautiful, working garden ornaments.

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