A garden is still a garden without them, but the little embellishments like birdbaths, benches and garden statuary turn the ordinary garden into a place of creative inspiration. They serve a more utilitarian purpose, as well. Birdbaths attract insect-eating birds, benches are great for resting between gardening chores, and while taking a breather, its always nice to have something pretty to view.
You do not need to buy an expensive commercial birdbath to attract your feathered friends. Birds do not like deep water, so build a shallow pool for them from a large clay pot saucer, a plow disk (you will need to plug the holes) or a large rock with a natural depression. Seal or paint metal objects with paint approved for food surfaces (to avoid poisoning birds). Set the finished pool on a large rock, upturned flowerpot or old stump (whatever works to elevate it beyond the easy reach of neighborhood cats). Add a few rounded pebbles for a natural look and as a perch for pollinating bees.
Tin Can Vases
Wash and dry a few empty food cans of varying sizes. Punch a hole on either side at the top to accept a wire handle, and then paint them in bright colors, (or whatever suits your taste). Hang them around the garden from fences, or set them on any available bench or other perch. Use them as outdoor flower vases to brighten up the duller patches of garden with fresh picked flowers.
Rustic Plant Markers
Create some pretty labels that will never wear out for your plants. Scrounge along a river or creek for rounded stones (flat ones will do as well if round stones are not available). Clean them up and dry thoroughly in the sun, then paint them. Choose any color you like but green may be hard to see among plants, and avoid yellow as it attracts a number of pest insects. White is the easiest color to see, or leave them natural with only a white strip for writing the name. When paint is dry, use a paint pen to write the name of each plant variety on a rock and put it in the bed.
Hanging Herb Rack
Wash and dry six to eight large steel cans, (coffee cans or smaller). Drill two holes on opposite sides of each can and wire to the one next to it to create a ring. You may have to adjust holes or loosen wires to form the rings. Drill three or four more holes after assembling them, (to accept a wire plant hanger--one hole per can). Spray paint the whole apparatus--wire and all. When dry, fill cans with soil and plant one herb per can. (Use a paint pen to write the herb name directly on the can if desired.) Hang your herb rack near the kitchen, where you can use it conveniently while cooking.