Never Make these Big 8 Mistakes in the Garden!

07/02/2015 | Ken Davis Deer, In the Garden, Landscaping, Uncategorized

By Ken Lain, the mountain gardener

This week’s column may be a bit hurtful to some, but your neighbors have been begging me to write this one.   You’ve seen them…you may even have one, but any of these lawn ornaments is doing nothing to help your home’s curb appeal.  They may even be upsetting the neighbors, or at the very least, have them chuckling behind your back.  Take a look at the list that follows to see if your yard is attracting the wrong kind of attention. Then, improve your home’s exterior by accessorizing with a less-is-more approach.  For example, hang up a couple of ferns, plant flowers in pretty pots, add an outdoor rug or some pillows to a garden bench, put up a birdfeeder, or even a new welcome mat on the front porch.  Trust me, your neighbors are begging you to “Deep 6” these Taboo 8!

1. Pink PlasFlamingo pink under a treetic Flamingos

Pink plastic flamingos do have a certain amount of kitsch that could work, but only in the right climate. The weather in the mountains of Arizona is not that climate.  If you live anywhere other than Miami, you may want to ditch this kitsch!


2. Concrete Geese with OutfitsGoose in outfit

In the early ’90s concrete geese seemed to adorn every home’s doorstep.  Along the way, people started dressing the creatures. At first it was funny; but if you are still dressing your goose for the weather or in seasonal costumes, you may want to stop now; it’s no longer the 1990’s.

3. Fake DeerFake Deer

If you live in the country or even the suburbs, you may occasionally see a deer strolling across your lawn, which can be kind of cool, depending on how novel it is for your area.  If you just have a couple of deer figures smack-dab in your front lawn distracting drivers?  That’s not as awesome.


Fake Wishing Well4. Fake Wishing Wells

Who was the first person to think it was a good idea to put a large fake wishing well in a front yard?  Worse yet, why did the idea catch on?  Large structures like these, or lighthouse replicas for that matter, serve no purpose and shouldn’t be placed in front of your house; they’re probably detracting from your home’s best features.

5. Leaning CowboysCowboy leaning

Silhouettes of witches and ghosts are acceptable at Halloween, but leaning cowboys or hobos smoking pipes kept out all year as decorations aren’t a great idea.  They may startle random passersby, but they aren’t really fooling would-be thieves, and definitely are not helping your property value.

lawn jockey with dog6. Lawn Jockeys

Jockey statues have been around a long time, but that doesn’t mean you should still have one on your lawn.  These relics symbolize a bygone era, and are not just outdated, but also downright offensive to many of us.


7. Fake FlowersFake Flowers

Although there is a place for displaying faux flowers in your home, you probably aren’t fooling anyone by “planting” plastic flowers in your landscaping. They never should be outside so that the sun quickly can turn them sun-fade blue. This is one of those times when having nothing is better than having something; so if you can’t seem to keep anything alive out of doors, bare mulch is better than this idea.

8. More Suspect Accessoriesgnomes in the garden with snails

No matter how creative you get with garden gnomes they are grossly lacking in style. Here are some other “classic” lawn ornaments that , although a couple of these have staunch supporters, you should strongly reconsider:

  • Garden gnomes
  • Gazing balls on pedestals
  • Statues of The Virgin Mary
  • Kissing Dutch boy and girl
  • Wooden cutout of lady with polka-dotted bloomers bending over to garden
  • Wagon wheels

Yard art gets old, it cracks, chips, or just needs to be given to your kids every decade or so.  With so many new styles and colors available today it may be time to class-up your outside look.  At the very least, don’t add to the datedness of your style.

Garden Class  ~ There will be no class this Saturday because it is Independence Day.  We return to our summer series on July 11 with ‘Herb Garden Designs from Beginner to Pro’.

Until next week, I’ll see you at the garden center. In the meantime, enjoy The Fourth!

Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his web site at or .



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