It was bound to happen, the phenomenon of making yourself comfy, really comfy, in the out of doors. It started with abandoned sofas and upholstered chairs ending up on covered porches and wooden rockers being painted in festive colors and moved onto the patio. Now the whole thing has exploded, with artistic license allowing the crafty garden landscaper to use almost any discarded indoor item in the garden.
Resurrect that old toilet as a planter, drag that claw-footed tub into the yard and give it new life as a goldfish pond. If you have a good eye and some panache, hang a wooden frame from your oak tree and call it outdoor art. As long as it isn't dangerous, you can move it into your yard, pot it, tip it, fill it with water or throw some plywood over it and call it a table. Give passersby a glimpse of the real you . . . or them. Plant a mirror in your side yard so folks can see themselves driving by. Turn your old iron bed into a real flowerbed, or just try something tame, like converting your old milk pail into a fountain.
On the next page, we'll explore classic influences on garden décor.