Garden Accessories: Tips from Tours

bird garden accessory

The bird was salvaged from this Duluth gardener’s grandfather’s house for placement in the garden.

The garden tour season here in Minnesota is winding down, and I’ve probably seen about 40 gardens over the past month or so. One thing I notice in many of these lovely gardens is the use of garden accessories, everything from perfectly placed containers and art to those humorous touches hiding between the plants. Accessories give the garden personality.

Some accessories are really a significant part of the garden’s structure, such as this bird sculpture on a pedestal that I saw in a Duluth garden last week. The homeowner said the bird came from his grandfather’s house and he had salvaged it and the pedestal to place in his own garden. That kind of garden art is both meaningful and beautiful.

I also really liked the bench below that was part of a garden on the Hennepin County Master Gardeners’ tour. Actually, I have toured this garden before—it’s a stunner—but I don’t remember this amazing stone bench. Does this qualify as an accessory? Maybe, maybe not, but it sure is cool and it absolutely invites visitors to sit down and enjoy the garden.

bench garden accessory

Have a seat in the shade on this garden bench.

pot accessory

This colorful fish-shaped pot is the perfect compliment to the waterfall and pond.

Containers are the ultimate accessory and very-low-risk for those of us who don’t think we are artistic. A brightly colored pot or a group of tall or squat or somehow unexpected pots makes a garden statement without being too out-there. The pond and plantings around this fish pot are so pretty that I have to admit it was not until I got home from the tour and looked at my photos that I noticed the cool container on top of the waterfall. Colorful and fun—a perfect garden accessory.

But not all garden accessories have to be big. The three accessories below are small and you might not even notice them, but when you do, you have to smile. I love the personality of the asparagus on the rabbit fence around a Minnetonka vegetable garden, the color of the watering can with falling water beads that I spotted on the Tracy Garden and Quilt Tour earlier this month, and the humor of the sign that was tucked amid the greenery in a garden in Minneapolis. That’s great garden advice for all of us: Keep Calm and Get Dirty.

What are some of your favorite garden accessories?



sign garden accessory

Keep Calm and ….

asparagus garden accessory

These asparagus add humor to the rabbit fencing around a vegetable garden.

watering can garden accessory

A bright watering can and beads adds fun to the garden.


  1. Tim Johnson on January 19, 2020 at 4:22 am

    I whole heartily agree with the idea that accessories add a lot to the design of a garden.
    We have gone overboard in our gardens in that regard, but that’s what makes our yard stand out from the ordinary.
    Thanks for sharing!
    p.s. check out our garden blog,, pictures and videos.

    • Mary Lahr Schier on January 19, 2020 at 3:43 pm

      Thanks for commenting — nice photos on your website!

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