Gardening has become an art form. The term gardening doesn’t even mean gardening anymore. It can mean anything from growing vegetables and flowers to decorating your small deck or patio. People are spending more time, effort and money than they ever have all in the effort to have beautiful and pleasant surroundings in their backyard. No backyard? Well don’t let that stop you. Even a windowsill can fulfill that need to create a vista.

At one time large ornate garden décor was only for the elite or very rich but now it is available every price range. Classical lines such as cement statuary, birdbaths, sundials or trellis are still the most popular. However there is a growing trend toward the cottage look, which often uses recycled or discarded items such as pails, windows, barn board and scrap iron. In addition, anything that is distressed or showing its age is very hot. As evidence in the multitude of craft shows, people are very clever in coming up with new ideas for birdhouses or garden signs. No one seems to want brand spanking new anymore.

Birdhouses with worn and faded wood sport rusty tin roofs and just for that added touch wrap some dried grape vine around it. The shapes vary from your traditional to one that is quite ornate including all the ginger bread trim its little frame can hold.

Anything can be made into a birdhouse, even an old canteen. And color! It can be faded and worn but yellow, blue, red, orange, turquoise, or pink, well you name it.

Metalwork for the garden is another example for “what is old is new again”. Rusty iron is the most popular but if you want color, why not try purple, all the better.

Garden signs that have a multitude of inspirational and whimsical sayings are great for making your garden unique and conversational. However, those too are usually a little worn on the edges and a little faded looking.

Now the garden pot is one exception to this new decorating trend. Most still look new especially the high gloss ceramic. In fact, this is where lots of color is probably preferred. Which is strange when you consider they will be filled with colorful blooms. There will be a color guaranteed to compliment all tastes.

Furniture, too, is another area where we don't want the old worn look. Unless it is wood or antique looking already. Mostly we want contemporary or classic chairs and tables that will probably last quite a few years. Iron table and chairs really fit that bill and these can take on that patina that the rest of the garden has without interfering with quality.

The floor of your deck or patio (even the grass) no longer needs to be neglected or bare. The outdoor mats today have everything going for them; patterns, colors, sizes and easy care.

Now the walls(if you have them)aren't to be outdone. Iron grills in all shapes and sizes and wall planters filled with blooms or greenery give a blank wall some interest. There is even artwork, which has been treated to withstand the outdoor elements.

New material such as resin and fiberglass have been introduced to everything from statuary to furniture meaning easy care and good looks for year to come. No longer heavy cement or rotting wicker! Now the investment you put into your garden area can pay off in years of good looks and wear.

One more new trend, which appeals to those with a black thumb versus a green thumb, are the new artificial plants. They have been so improved that it is hard to tell them from the real thing. Cedar trees are just one to mention. If you like the look of small cedars in a pot on your doorstep why not try the artificial kind. It will always look good and will not need any care. Leave it out all winter and put lights on it at Christmas.

In Victorian days, gardening was a social status and only for the well off but now all can enjoy!