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Have you ever visited a garden filled with more than just trees and plants? Different types of garden art can add welcome interest to outdoor spaces along with a touch of whimsy.

It’s the unexpected element of encountering an unusual planter, wall hanging, or recycled items throughout the garden that can add a touch of whimsy that makes a garden unforgettable.

I was inspired by the creative uses of garden decor on a recent visit to Buffalo, and while the plants may be different than what I grow in my Arizona garden, the look can be easily replicated using desert-adapted plants.

Here is a look at my favorites.

A small bistro table is all set for tea along with moss planters in the shape of a purse and high shoe.

Got a dull expanse of wooden fence? Grab some chalk and draw some flowers – this would also work for a block wall fence too.

Old glass dishes make beautiful flowers, don’t you think?

Got an old portable fire pit? Dress it up by filling it with succulents.

Creating artistic pieces from old silverware is quite popular and I quite like this dragonfly made out of butter knives.

An old mirror not only makes a unique wall hanging, but it also reflects the beauty of the garden in front of it.

Old garden benches paired with old watering cans add a new look to this corner of a garden.

Transform an old tree stump by adding a plant on top and wooden planters below.

‘Head’ planters are a trendy whimsical element, and I love the extra splash of color that these add.

Elephants food (Portulacaria afra) would make an excellent ‘hairstyle’ for a head planter.

The elegant beauty of a rusted steel hummingbird.

Faced with the view of an uninspiring blank wooden fence? Break up the monotony by adding planters across the base and through the middle.

Succulents would look great used this way through the middle with potted lantana at the base.

An antique store kettle finds new life as a planter for purple alyssum.

Cool season annuals such as petunias or pansies would go nicely in here. Succulents are a good choice for a year-round planting.

Metal wall hangings are a great way to decorate vertical spaces.

Another stump makes a suitable resting spot for a couple of birdhouses and a colorful ladder.

A simple, yet elegant way to display the blooms in your garden in small glass jars.

Lantana, roses, Texas sage or yellow bell blossoms would look lovely displayed like this for a party.

Are you feeling inspired? I certainly am. I invite you to stroll through an antique shop, a thrift store, or even the garage sale down the street. You never know what will catch your attention and be used to add artistic flair and whimsy to your garden.  

Hummingbird Container Garden

Part 3 of the tour of my back garden looks at my favorite flowering shrubs, a hummingbird container garden, and a peek at a part of my garden that few people get to see.

I hope that you enjoyed the tour of my garden. Admittedly, it isn’t fancy, but neither am I. It reflects much about my personality – rather carefree, not fussy, and lover of color. My hope is that you will find some inspiration for your own outdoor space.

If you haven’t had a chance to view the other videos of my garden, here is Part 1 as well as Part 2

Have you ever driven by a beautifully landscaped home and wished that you could see through the garden walls?

AZTU_Roper: The Sublime Desert Connection, Oro Valley. Photo credit: Shelly Ann Abbott, MLA/Landscape Design West
Well, now you have your chance.  
You are invited to take a closer look at some beautiful landscapes in Tucson, this Saturday, October 5th, as part of The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program in which the public is invited to take a peek into “the best, very rarely seen, private gardens”. 
AZTU_Businger: Desert in Color, Tucson. Photo credit: Dustin Hancock, MLA
Participants are given a map, which leads them to each garden.  There is a $5 admission fee to each of the gardens.
AZTU_Peters: The Peter’s Garden, Tucson. Photo credit: Courtesy of the Garden Conservancy
Now, I don’t know about you, but I would LOVE to see what is beyond this side garden.

AZTU_Jackson: The Jackson’s Dreamscape, Tucson. Photo credit: Courtesy of the Garden Conservancy
For those of you who have not visited Tucson, you are are missing out on a beautiful area.  Because Tucson is higher in elevation then the Phoenix area, the desert is more lush with native trees, plants and cacti throughout.

AZTU_Calhoun: Zona Gardens Studio, Tucson. Photo credit: Scott Calhoun/Zona Gardens

 For those of you who do not live close enough to Tucson to take part in viewing these wonderful gardens, there are ‘Open Days’ events held throughout the country throughout the year.

Whenever I take part in touring gardens, I come away refreshed and awash in new ideas for my own garden.
So, I encourage you to take some time out of your schedule to relax and take a stroll through the garden…