Fill your garden with flowers – no water needed – by Diane Morey Sitton

Grow this sunflower in sun or shade. All images by Diane Morey Sitton.

We’re all familiar with the old English adage, “April showers bring May flowers.” For many gardeners, those blooms come in the form of garden art flowers. Whether bold metal sunflowers, ceramic pansies on stakes, or unidentified blooms crafted from repurposed doorknobs and rebar, garden art flowers extend seasonal color, provide color where plants won’t grow, reinforce themes, and create exciting focal points.

What’s more, they never require water!

Crafter, crafter, quite creative
How does your garden grow?
With crystal cups and sparkling plate.
On stakes in a bed all their own.
Click image for larger view.
When looped and knotted, even rope can be shaped into garden art flowers. Click image for larger view.

The list of colors, styles, and materials is infinite: glass plate flowers that glisten in the sun; flowers crafted from rope, gracefully looped and knotted as if by Mother Nature herself; flowers shaped from tires, hubcaps and propellers; flowers painted on rocks, mailboxes and windows; blooms and buds pieced together from broken china, mosaic style; and petals cut from colorful cans, among other eye-catching selections.

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Petal to the metal. Vibrantly painted rebar and links from chain number among the reclaimed items used to create this flower.
What do you do with a discarded propeller? Carol Gilman of Galveston made a flower.

But garden art flowers offer more than vibrant colors and quirky designs. When thoughtfully placed in the landscape, these inventive floral creations draw the eye down a path or across a garden room, creating a destination. When positioned around a curve or in a remote alcove, they create surprise.

Floral art mimics real flowers. Click image for larger view.

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Like most garden accessories, garden art flowers bloom brightest when not competing with other focal points. However, there is strength in numbers. Grow an art garden by massing several art flowers together in their own bed; establish a rhythm or build a pattern by interspersing identical or similar garden art flowers at an equal distance apart among real flowers; create an impact by displaying a series of the same floral art on a fence, by a walkway or in a bed of ferns or other greenery. Reinforce mood and strengthen color themes by using single or multiple garden art flowers to echo the shape and color of real flowers. The image will be memorable whether the hue is darker, lighter or identical.

Flowers made from tires once decorated a tool shed at the former Naconiche Nursery in Nacogdoches. Their colors echoed the red and yellow hues of the flowers and foliage in the adjoining bed.

Just as real flowers go unnoticed if they are disproportionately small in relation to their surroundings, garden art flowers lose their impact if they are too small for their space. Likewise, floral art should complement the garden, not dominate it.

Short on flowers? Grab a stencil, a can of spray paint and a cement block.

Whether you craft your own or select from a local artisan’s one-of-a-kind creations; whether you position them to enhance real flowers or to be a beacon of color where there is none; or whether you use them to inspire, amuse or surprise; garden art flowers dress up gardens all year long!

After fashioning a flower from a hubcap, this gardener created wind chimes from keys.

Seed for thought
“April showers bring May flowers” was adapted from a poem written by Thomas Tusser, an English poet from the 1500s. Tusser originally wrote “Sweet April showers do spring May flowers”.

Posted by Diane Morey Sitton
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