Here on the barefoot blog, we’ve spent plenty of time talking about all the things you can do to make your back yard look great. From something as little as finding the right kind of outdoor storage to doing some really elaborate landscape planning, we’ve looked at a lot of practical steps you can take toward creating your dream lawn. Sometimes, though, I think the best way to give your garden a little personality is to do something totally impractical, and my favorite impractical thing just happens to be adorable lawn decorations. Now, I’m not talking anything big or loud or flashy, just some little garden imps, sprites, or gargoyles to add a touch of magic to your garden.
I can forgive you if you aren’t the kind of person who loves a classic, but I’m all about this Sleepy Lawn Gnome. Some people think they’re a little hokey, or don’t like that they’re more colorful than your typical stone statue, but the huge variety of styles, personalities, and poses of lawn gnomes make them excellent easter eggs for a big garden. A couple different ones, strategically placed (read: slightly hidden, not lined up on your front porch!), can create a wonderful fairy-tale feel in your back yard.
If you like the idea of miniature garden inhabitants, but maybe not your standard gnome, consider a less colorful, stone-cast companion like this Potted Pixie. Makes a great addition to a row of potted plants, or just a little unexpected friend in some tall grass (though be sure you won’t run into him with your lawn mower – he wouldn’t like it, and neither would your mower blade!).
These adorable little statues, like your more traditional painted lawn gnomes, come in a wide variety of styles, each portraying its own personal brand of mischief. The best part, though, is that while I love a lot of little guys peeking out from little corners of the garden, statues like this Playful Pixie work equally well when placed more prominently in your yard. Small and light enough to put on a table or ledge, but large enough to be noticed in a garden bed, these statues are charming wherever you choose to put them.
If you’re just outright anti-lawn gnome, don’t let that keep you from their subtler constructions like this Gnome Home. Small, fantastical stone buildings or faux ruins can be even more effective in giving your lawn a fairy tale feel. After all, you aren’t supposed to be able to see the fey, but getting little glimpses of these buildings from your (maybe strategically overgrown) shrubberies or flowerbed makes a great reminder that just because you can’t see them doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t out there!
If you’re looking for something subtler still, this Pair of Mushrooms is a nice nod to Wonderland (smoking caterpillar not included) that brings a touch of unreality to your yard without being too weird. Rather than the traditional red-with-white-spots kitschy toadstool, these cast stone fungi are both more natural looking and more durable, and will grow into your garden rather than getting faded or chipped.
Of course, adorable outdoor statues don’t just come in pixies and plant life. This Garden Gargoyle is the perfect back yard pet: it doesn’t eat, won’t dig up your lawn, and will always look up to you! So ugly it’s adorable, this gargoyle is a far cry from its fearsome medieval cousins – a much better match for your magical landscape.
I especially like figures like these Frog Chess Players, slightly magical creatures taking part in rather extraordinarily ordinary activities. Not only is it a nice touch of the unexpected wherever you place it, but also, I think, a good reminder to take some time, smell a flower, and maybe play a game with a good friend in the sunshine.
If you spend a lot of time meditating in your yard or zen garden, this Zen Frog makes a nice morning companion. A little less serious than a Buddha and more flexible than a gargoyle, this frog oozes inner peace. Its cast stone construction makes it, like many of these statues, somewhat susceptible to weathering in harsher climates. It’s also a great surface for plant life to cling to. If you ask me, though, a nice layer of moss and a little wear and tear will leave this guy looking stately, and many of the others like a natural part of the landscape.
What are you looking for to add a little fun to your back yard? Will statues cut it, or would you rather finish it off with a little whimsical landscape lighting – or make the best of both worlds with some solar powered statuary? And what draws you to the magical and mystical back yard decor in the first place? Let me know in the comments!