A simple way to give a garden a lovely, unified look is to pick a color theme and repeat it throughout the space. The gardens shown here use blue accents to create focal points with decor, garden art, flowers, and more.
For more creative ideas also see small pond ideas and rusted metal arden art.
Using Blue In The Garden
One of the easiest ways to give a garden a unified, cohesive look is to introduce a color theme and repeat it throughout the space.
The gardens here all use blue as their feature color. Blue paint on garden art. Blue accent cushions on the patio furniture. Blue sheds or doors. Blue flowering plants. You get the idea.
Several of the ideas come from my own garden because, once I got started, I couldn’t stop using that big old can of exterior blue paint I had purchased.
You might love an entirely different color—or combination of colors.
Have a look at the ideas and go with what you love. If there’s one place we should let our create ideas flow—it’s our very own backyards.
Sheds & Doors
First up is my garden shed and the blue paint that started it all. Years ago, we were giving our ugly, old shed a makeover and I was so undecided about the colors that I let me daughter choose—and I’ve loved the blue paint she chose ever since.
The label on the paint can says the blue is Glidden Jazz 30BB 10/337.
That blue shed door was just the beginning—as you’ll see. But let’s look at some other shed and door ideas first.
Some of these ideas come from local garden tours of home gardens—one of my favorite ways to get inspired.
This next shed is very old and uses a deeper nautical blue color. The yellow door and white trim offer a lovely contrast. Plus, the red poppies are perfection.
In this gallery of garden shed ideas there are lots of blue sheds. I know not everyone loves blue, but when you do, you really do!
This one is a lighter blue and has lots of character:
This next picture shows my shed a few years later when the flowering perennials were getting nice and tall.
The color blue is rare in nature and definitely stands out.
I saw this small, blue outhouse-bird nesting box on a garden tour. Funny!
This shed uses a more subdued combination of gray for the walls and a nice, deep blue for the door. The white trim and window frames gives the whole thing a nice, crisp appearance.
Gray garden shed with blue door
This next photo came from a country garden tour many years ago. It was the first time I saw blue as a theme color repeated throughout a large—several acres large—garden (nice!). I loved how it really brought the space together.
The denim blue cushions and flower pots give a nice blast of color.
The lounge chairs have blue beach towels and a blue flower pot between them.
This is a smart idea: get flower pots in the same color and finish but in a variety of sizes. No matter what you plant, it’s a good way to bring everything together.
Also, displaying in collections, rather than spreading things out throughout the space, makes a greater visual impact.
This house (above) used blue, white, and yellow throughout the garden for a distinct look, much like you’d see in Claude Monet‘s era in France.
This blue bench and the flower pots continue the blue theme.
For more ideas also see 17 Creative & Rustic Garden Bench Ideas.
Mirrors & Upcycled Doors
The farmhouse door on the left (below) was a roadside find from a farm near our home. It’s officially the heaviest door ever! It came with old yellow paint and I, of course, switched to blue.
I photographed the blue door on the right (above) on a garden tour. They had it resting against the shed in a flower bed and it looked gorgeous with the rusty, old hardware and hanging crystals.
I have more ideas for reusing doors and windows in the garden here.
I made this DIY optical illusion mirror (above) several years ago. It’s a fun idea for either a patio (safely away from bird flight paths) or indoors at the end of hallway or in a child’s room.
Are you on Team Blue or have another favorite color?
Ladders & Obelisks
My tall blue ladder has become a signature piece in my garden. I started out with an old painter’s ladder (painted blue) but it gradually wore down and now I have this ladder I made myself. My instructions for making a garden art ladder are here.
The item on the right (above) is the DIY obelisk I used for growing watermelons vertically. As you can see, I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of that blue paint color.
Plates & Dishes
Old kitchen items including plates and dishes have endless potential as garden art. I know some people do not like the idea of a “collector” plate staying outside, but it’s a personal decision. We can’t all be custodians of all the treasures of the world—or have room to store them indoors.
The pictures (above) show a few ways to display plates on a wall. Blue and white dishes are my favorite, of course.
You can also use broken dishes for mosaic projects or turn them into DIY garden art flowers using these instructions.
Glass Bottles & Mosaics
One summer at a yard sale I got an entire box of cobalt blue ointment and medicine bottles dating back to the early and mid 1900s. A group of them fit nicely in this old metal plant rack:
The stepping stone (lower left) uses blue and white dishes and assorted ceramics. Just one bag of ready-to-go cement could make several. There are more stepping stone ideas here and instructions for creating hypertufa planters here.
The lower right photo (above) shows my “faux delphiniums.” I used tall cobalt blue bottles on copper pipes to fill in for the real delphiniums before bloom time.
The mirror on the fence behind them is actually a sliding mirrored shower door—they hold up really well outside all year-round. And yes, mirrors should only be placed away from direct sun and bird flight paths. This has tips and ideas for safely using mirrors as garden art.
This photo of a wood-stained garden shed perfectly illustrates the power of blue! See how nicely the ceramic birdbath stands out in contrast to the shed color and plant foliage?
My one issue is birdbaths are rarely designed with bird safety in mind. Most birds that frequently our gardens are not water fowl which means they cannot swim.
Songbirds use birdbaths to drink and “bathe” but they do not submerge themselves.
To be safe, birdbaths should be shallow (not more than an inch of water) and provide sturdy places for the birds to stand. This has more tips on how to make birdbaths safe for birds.
The birdbaths (above and below) would make fabulous planters. See more birdbath planter ideas here.
I keep the blue planter (far right, photo above) by my small garden pond. This shows how I built the raised garden bed with built-in privacy wall.
In the photos (above and below) you can see how the cobalt blue color makes the pink and orange flowers stand out so nicely.
Repurposed Garden Art
Next I have an assortment of garden art ideas using repurposed items and the color blue.
I don’t know if there is a name for the decorative blue and white balls in this next photo—they are the size of bocce balls. They look really pretty in the birdbath.
The blue flowers are Centaurea cyanus (also called Bachelor Button or cornflower) and very pretty but also invasive (through self-seeding) in many areas (hardiness zones 3-8).
I’m not sure if this vintage blue bicycle stays in the garden year-round since it appears to be in good condition, but it made a charming display during this garden tour.
This “chandelier” (no electricity) was the first piece of garden art I made, many years ago now. The blue flat marbles, wire-rapped round marbles, and old lamp crystals look gorgeous—particularly on a snowy day in the winter sun.
The tutorial for making a garden chandelier is here.
Continuing the blue theme in my garden, I painted the handles of these old garden tools blue to display them as garden art.
There are more ways to use old tools a creative garden art here.
Keep the color theme going by choosing functional garden items like this beautiful blue watering can in your chosen color.
Turquoise-Painted Garden Art
Turquoise is also an excellent choice for a color that stands out in the garden.
Look for decorative birdhouses at thrift shops and yard sales and give them a fresh coat of paint.
This explains the difference between decorative birdhouses and nesting boxes and why you should also block off the entry holes to keep birds safe.
There is a gallery of garden art ladder ideas here.
Plants & Animals
Finally, what better accents than blue flowers and butterflies?
Not many flowers are blue—purples are much more common.
My top favorite blue-flowering perennials are delphiniums. For annuals, it’s lobelia.
The secret to attracting butterflies like this (blue) Red-spotted Purple Admiral is to grow a diverse selection of plants suited to your region and avoid the use of any pesticides or herbicides.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
25 Garden Art Projects & Ideas
by Melissa J. Will
Grab the top garden art DIY projects and tips from Empress of Dirt
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