Yard Art Is In The Eye Of The Beholder


Country MoonI walk through the yard and I see all the different places that we have incorporated rocks, steel wheels, antiques, rocks (oh, did I already mention rocks because we have more than a few!) and other unusual items in our own version of yard art. It works. Jim named our place the “rock ‘n’ wheel” farm because those two items are the basis for all the rest. I like the effect it creates. To me, this is yard art at its finest.

But then I walk through Ron’s yard and I see lawn and shrubs. Period. I like the effect it creates. It is also yard art at its finest because, with the absence of yard art, it makes you appreciate simplicity.

More and more these days people are defining their homes by what is in their yards. The term “yard art” is relatively new and refers to any man-made aesthetic experience occurring in a private yard or garden, as well as those found in outdoor spaces such as pastures, nurseries, community gardens and vacant lots. That is the formal definition but it basically translates to anything goes as long as it is appreciated on its own terms.

The best part about yard art is that you don’t have to be super creative or spend a lot of money to have something unique and personal. Many of the materials you will need can be picked up at yard sales, auctions and second hand stores. Someone else’s “junk” can become your treasures to create cool designs for just pennies.

Of course, there are always the traditional yards that use flowers, plants and shrubs accentuated with rocks, walkways and wood to create the desired effect. Strategic placed stepping stones add Old World charm. They frame a garden path and can be both useful and decorative by saving shoes from picking up all the dirt and also save wear and tear on the lawn. There is nothing wrong with traditional but keep in mind that the sky is the limit when it comes to decorating your yard.

For us, antiques have played an important role. Besides the steel wheels, we have milk cans and milk can carts placed on pea stone beds throughout the yard. Wooden wagon wheels are the rails for our deck while antique plows, cultivators and other tillage tools are interspersed among the rocks. The rocks themselves are not merely any rocks. In this area, “pudding stones”, which are rocks with different colored smaller stones embedded within the larger rocks, are quite popular. This all works for us.

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