Most people have yards that consist only of plants. Grass is pretty standard, and people may also have a tree or two, or perhaps some bushes or some flowers.
These are the bar minimum things that people should have in their yards, but having only those things will ensure that your yard does not distinguish itself from the yards of your neighbors in any way. It will look green, but it won’t look like it’s yours.
Ideally, you want to add a decorative touch to your yard that makes it attractive, and perhaps even functional in some way. more importantly, you want to add a touch that makes the yard uniquely your own.
I’ve discussed ways to do this in previous posts, such as adding water features or a statue. These are good ideas, and they’re always going to be good ideas. Most people who do this rush right down to their local home improvement store or their garden shop to buy some off-the-rack fountain, bird feeder or statue that they can throw in their yard so they can say, “Look! I’m unique!”
But how unique is it if you’re putting something in your yard that Home Depot sells by the thousands? That little cherub statue may look cute, but it likely also looks cute in your neighbor’s yard, too. That’s not to suggest that you shouldn’t run down to the big box store and buy something for your yard, but why not think outside of that big box when coming up with an idea for your yard?
Instead of shopping at the home improvement store, why not shop at the antique store instead? What? Antiques?
Sure. I’m not talking about an antique lamp or a fainting couch; those aren’t suitable for use in the yard. But any one of a number of things that you might find at an antique store might very well look great when added to a yard with some bushes or a garden.
My neighbors have an antique door, in their garden. Yes, it’s a wooden door, with a couple of small windows in it. It’s been painted purple, and it leans against a tree and has some flowers growing around it. A door in the back yard might not seem like an obvious thing to put there, but in truth, it looks lovely.
You might consider an old wagon wheel. Or an old bench. Or perhaps an old water pump that you may or may not make functional again.
Odd pieces of sculpture or folk art, or even an old outdoor light fixture can look great. You can paint them in whatever color suits you. Or you can not paint them and let them acquire some natural patina. That is up to you. Sometimes, you can find a statue, or a bench, or any one of a number of older, solid objects that can, with a little bit of inspiration, look great among your bushes and flowers.
Keep in mind that weather will be a factor, so you want to be sure that whatever antiques you place in your yard are sturdy and durable enough to last several years when exposed to the elements. Remember – the idea is for your yard to look decorative, and not like a junkyard. Don’t overdo it.