2010-11-04 / Family

Outdoor Accessories Move Indoors

By Carole McCray

Carole McCray Carole McCray There is no need to limit your enjoyment of favorite outdoor garden accessories. Try bringing some of your most loved garden decorations indoors for the winter months.

Last month’s column was about moving fragrant plants indoors. So continue the plan of moving indoors and relocate favorite garden accessories to the inside of your home along with fragrant plants from your garden.

It is easy to be creative with that beautiful urn on your deck or patio that once was overflowing with lovely blooms. Your birdbath, statuary and fountain can become accent pieces during the holidays and continue to be enjoyed during the colder months. Outdoor pieces can really make a statement when they are moved indoors.

Here are some ideas to use garden accessories with and without plants.

Create a conservatory look in winter by bringing a small fountain indoors. Nestle it among potted plants such as ferns or palms in a corner of a room. The bubbling water lends a relaxing mood to an indoor spot.

Campania Montella Birdbath Campania Montella Birdbath An indoor fountain will provide much needed humidity during the winter months. The sound will be a delightful reminder of summer.

A cast stone urn with a weathered mossy patina makes a wonderful and atmospheric indoor decoration.

When planting outdoor urns or containers for indoor use, Peter C. Cilio of Campania International Inc., manufacturers of fine garden accessories, said, “Use a plastic liner in the pot and slip the plant in the liner, thus preventing leaks when watering.” Use sphagnum moss to fill in any gaps if the interior of a pot is still visible.

Garden statuary can move indoors. It can be a table centerpiece entwined with greens if the piece is not too large to be overpowering.

For low maintenance, dried flowers or interesting branches like Harry Lauder’s walking stick or topiary shapes made of moss, grapevine, shells or even shiny Christmas balls can be arranged in urns or containers. For added interest, change seasonally.

Anglian Lite urn with greens Anglian Lite urn with greens Tiny white lights can lend a festive nighttime look to an arrangement of dried flowers or twisted branches set in a cast stone urn.

Even unplanted, a cast stone urn, especially if raised on a pedestal or placed on a table can be a dramatic sculptural focal point.

Small birdbaths can also be used in many creative ways. Filled with seasonal fruit such as apples or pears or sculptural looking vegetables like peppers or artichokes, they become unusual, edible not to mention economical centerpieces. Remember to use felt coasters on the bottom of the birdbath to protect your table.

Fill a small birdbath with water to float flowers or candles for an exotic and enchanting table decoration.

Keep an interesting large urn or planter by your door to catch umbrellas or gloves, mittens, hats or other winter belongings that you can toss into the container as you enter the house.

Fill a planter or small birdbath with usually shaped gourds and small pumpkins. Weathered terra cotta, cast stone or rusted iron or verdigris are natural complements to autumn decorating.

An elegant planter box in copper or brass can be used by your fireplace as a storage place for kindling.

Create your own indoor water garden by adding plants such as spider lilies or water lettuce to a glazed or lightweight pot.

Place a small urn or birdbath in your bathroom to hold pretty soaps, towels or other attractive bath accessories.

Take time to look at your outdoor garden decorations and you might view them in a different light. With some imagination and creativity, your garden accessories can move indoors and give you four seasons of pleasure.

Carole McCray lives, writes and gardens in the scenic Laurel Highlands east of Ligonier, Pa. She is an award-winning writer; her most recent award was the Garden Writers Association Award for her article on native seeds that appeared in The Christian Science Monitor newspaper. She can be reached at mountain26@verizon.net.

Photos courtesy of Campania International, Inc.

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