Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Garden is a Stage

A bit of our own 'Stage Dressing' 
Stage Dressing...

Are two words I seldom encounter in the world of gardeners despite them playing a major role in setting the scene, atmosphere, and emphasising which particular style a garden is trying to achieve. 

You certainly hear these two words in theatrics, homes, and interiors but rarely when it comes to exteriors and garden spaces. And if you do hear them it's usually within the domains of garden designers and landscapers, rarely extending to the amateur gardener.

It doesn't mean it isn't there, it's actually there, all around and present in every well looked after garden. It seems to be the sort of thing that just 'happens' without even thinking about it, but rarely mentioned or talked about as a subject on its own. 

An eclectic mix of garden accessories are available, as was seen on a previous shopping trip...

Some lovely, some tacky, some classy, some trashy. And then there are the plain quirky...
Choose what's appropriate for your garden.....
But more importantly, choose what YOU like!
Yet it's one of the most fun things you can do to your garden. Done sympathetically with the overall planting scheme and style of the garden, some careful design and planning, and a touch of the owner's personal style and taste, it can do wonders to the overall feel of ones garden.

You can accessorise using with unique looking furniture 
A statement piece of accessory!
Nice or not?

The garden is a stage, dress it up! There may be no performers in it but it certainly makes the place more fun, and a more enjoyable place to spend time in. And it helps make the place 'your own' too. Accessorise it! Sometimes gardening is not just about the plants you grow in it, but also the items you put in it.

Mark :-)


  1. Some great things to choose from. Always should be some things other than plants, it's what makes a garden your own.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. Great post! I hadn't thought much about "decorating" our yard until I became interested in Japanese gardening. Adding a granite lantern seemed natural. I don't have a lot of ornaments because it's easy to go overboard, but my goal is to achieve a harmonious balance like you have done in the first photo.

    P.S. That metal ape is seriously cool.

  3. I love your 'staging' in the first picture, especially the way the phormium stretches into the scene like an extra desperate to be one of the main players! Fab.

  4. I agree. It can make the difference between a garden and a collection of plants. Taking photos has made me more aware of setting a scene and adding other elements to compliment the planting. I think my garden has a way to go in that regard, though
    I've learnt a few decorating hints from you and Gaz - your placement of pots, use of red, etc.

  5. The problem I have, is that I don't share the Priory owner's taste. (Shhh, don't tell him). So sometimes I have to work with things (pots, little garden knick-knacks etc) that I don't particularly like. And I don't think it appropriate to buy things to 'stage' the garden that, in turn, he might not like. I shall just have to buy the Priory. Yes, that's the answer. D

  6. Hi Cher, you're right, it's what personalises the garden :)

    Thanks Gerhard! I don't think you can go wrong with a granite lantern especially with such a natural material. I like that metal ape too! It's got a hefty price tag though, maybe someday...

    Thanks Martin! I was trying to look for a photo to go on main page but couldn't find a more recent one. The phormiums no longer there and has been replaced last year.

    Hi Missy, glad you picked up some ideas from our garden along the way :) I think taking photos does help as it frames areas and it makes it easier to do a composition, and add ornaments from there.

    David, that's tricky bit when somebody else owns the garden. You'll make a fantastic owner of the Priory! I can imagine what it will be like if you get free reign on such a fantastic garden (which looks great already with your hard graft) :)

  7. So very true, although I don't call it 'stage dressing'. In fact I don't call it anything, I just move things arround till I think they are right, it drives the family potty!! lol!

  8. haha Libby, Gaz here, dont tell Mark but sometimes all the pots and objects moving about can drive me potty too! :)

  9. I'm your man ! So to say... My garden is a stage, and I very often move and re arrange pots and features according to season and mood.
    When it stops raining and the sun shines a bit, I shall let you see what's the staging is like at the moment.
    Thanks for the peep on all the goodies !

  10. Good to hear that Celine! looking forward to seeing your updates and what you've done so far :)

  11. I love those huge gorillas and giraffas you see at the shows and often wonder if they ever sell any. I have yet to see a photo of one in situ

  12. Hi Helen, they're fantastic aren't they? They're more available now as one of the main importers secured more franchises to sell these type of recycled oil drum sculptures (from Africa). One of our friends bought one of the towering giraffes a few years ago, quite a statement piece for his garden.

  13. Thought provoking! Gardens of the past had so many statues, fountains etc. and yet most gardeners limit themselves to arranging a few pots. Sculptures often work really well almost hidden and peeping out from foliage. Christina

  14. Capital Gardens4 May 2012 at 19:23

    My girlfriend loves mannequins like those in your third pic down - our house is full of them! I just hope she doesn't see this blog post and get the idea to put one in our garden too!!!

  15. You have such nice things to choose from. I'm not fond of the ones we have available locally. They are either kitschy or very commonly seen. It is so hard to come by that rare (what else would it be?) gem.

  16. Too true. I always add extra pots and bits and bobs for our open day. We've also been stage managing the house for sale. It has to look like the phtos before a viewing. It's all in the presentation and that goes for the garden too.


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