Lawn ornaments can add a touch of class or lots of whimsy

Statues of angels, saints, cherubs, Buddha, protecting lion, just to name a few, can be found in small gardens up to palatial estates. Religious-associated statues are by far the most popular statues, ranging in height from one foot to life-size. Statues create a focal point as a destination in the garden and can be located in the center of the garden, or along or at the end of a pathway, particularly with a bench or resting place nearby.

For the whimsically minded, there's the garden gnome. The gnome is a mystical character who cares for wildlife. The garden gnome is usually a male, is less than three feet tall, sports a long white beard, and is wearing a pointed red cap. The garden gnome originated in Germany in the 1800's and is typically made of terracotta or lightweight polymer. Since the mystical gnome is small, by nature, they want to be near protection. Position your gnome near or under bushes or other plantings, close to a building or tree, giving them the option to hide. By partially hiding the gnome, his existence is a surprise to the humans walking through the garden.

Gazing balls or lawn globes are typically made of glass, stainless steel, or heavy-weight plastics. These shiny spherical balls are believed to scare away evil spirits. Popular in English style gardens, these spheres provide a touch of sparkle to a flower garden. With a variety of colors and sizes (two inches up to twenty-two inches), the ball may rest on a stand, be attached to rod to push into the ground, or can be placed directly on the ground. When choosing a location for your gazing ball, pick a spot that you can see from the house. Select a color that compliments the flowers surrounding it, and select a size of ball that doesn't overpower the view of the garden.

A bird bath is a mixed blessing. It is fun to see our feathered friends splashing around in the water. On the other hand, the birds can leave behind seeds that fall and grow, adding to our burden to keep the garden weed-free. Still, bird baths add character to the yard. Bird baths are available in a wide variety of styles and materials, with molded concrete readily available at lawn and garden shops. Birds like some shelter as they frolic in the water, so place the bird bath near a tall shrub or tree.

Bird or bat houses provide a home to bug eaters that can improve the health of our gardens. The structure of the bird house and where the bird house is located is dependent on the kind of bird you wish to attract. Along the same line, humming bird and other bird feeders attract birds for the bird lover to watch.

Stepping stones strategically placed throughout the garden catch the eye. Use the stepping stones to create a pathway, or have them lead off the pathway to an eye catching spot in your garden, like a bench.

A fish pond or fountain is the ultimate garden ornament. The sound of falling water is relaxing to the spirit as is watching fish in the pond.

For those who really want to make a statement, go for the pink flamingo. Stake five or more in a single area near vegetation or out in the open. Or line them up in single file like a parade heading toward your front door. You can do just about anything with pink plastic flamingos. They can even show your humorous nature on your apartment balcony.