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Garden Ornaments

Our tastes in garden ornaments can go from one extreme to another, similar to our tastes in food. With gardening being the number one leisure-time activity in the country, and the craze for decorating gardens at an all-time high, garden ornaments of all shapes and sizes are popping up everywhere.

Whether your tastes lean toward rustic, modern or even Rococo you can bet that there is something out there to suit your needs. And price tags vary as greatly as styles. You will find everything from modestly priced concrete statues to metal ornaments ranging in the thousands of dollars. But don't let cost stand in your way. An ornament perfect for your garden could be as simple as a unique rock placed in just the right spot. I recently found some beautiful crystals at a rock shop for a friend's garden that were a real bargin.

Garden UrnWhen it comes to selecting garden ornaments, pretty much anything goes, but I prefer to choose items in colors that blend in with the garden's setting. One way to accomplish this is to age them. Here's a simple plan that will give your ornament an instant weathered look. All you need are exterior latex paints in one or two earth-tone colors, a paint brush, some old rags and a few weeds from your garden.

To begin make a solution of fifty-fifty paint and water, it should have the consistency of tomato soup. When it comes to the color, the grungier the better. You may want to mix up two batches of slightly contrasting colors. I often use a combination of tan and green paint.

Next use the brush to coat the ornament. Before it dries, wipe off the excess paint with damp sponge or rag, but leave enough on to give it a distressed look.

For a weathered patina touch use green weeds or grass. Just rub the weeds over the ornament, allowing the juice to soak in.

The old tried-and-true method for aging concrete is applying a blend of sheep manure and buttermilk. But, that takes a strong stomach and a lot more time. So, why bother when you can get the same results with a can of paint and some weeds?