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The Lost Art of Garden Accessories

How To Create Outdoor Spaces That Inspire

Once upon a time, garden accents were created, not mass-produced. Pergolas, arbors and trellises were unique works of art, constructed from the finest materials. If you find yourself waxing poetic over the loss of creativity when it comes to garden accents, rest assured, it is still possible to create a garden that inspires.

Architectural Elements
Before you can pursue your imagination's wildest creation, you must know what it is you are envisioning. Garden accents come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few traditional pieces that stand the test of time.

Pergolas are most known for their columned design. Depending on whether or not the piece is attached to a permanent structure, like your home, a pergola will consist of two or more columns, leading to lintels, or beams, that support rafters and purlins. Often featured with roses or vines gracing the columns, the pergola is the ideal garden accessory for adding a bit of shade. They have remained an integral part of elegant gardens since ancient Rome.

Arbors epitomize the elegant garden entrance. Usually consisting of two posts or columns running upwards to meet an arch, arbors can be used with or without fencing.

Trellises are the quintessential garden structure for the display of climbing plants. They are often mounted on the sides of buildings, but trellises can also be freestanding.

Accents of France in Beverly Hills, Calif., creates standard and custom decorative trellises and garden accessories. Drawing from the charm of 18th-century France, these trellises are certain to create a uniquely European ambiance in your garden. Made of high-grade, kiln-dried pine, these works of art are designed to please for many years to come. Taking creativity a step further, Accents of France accepts custom design projects, so you can have the masterpiece you've always dreamed of.

Your perfect garden structure may combine elements of the pergola, the arbor and the trellis into one extravagantly beautiful creation. The only limit is your imagination.

Creating a Garden Paradise
Richard Richardson is no stranger to the inspiration – and perspiration – of creation. He has spent the last 15 years creating a backyard paradise. Richardson's creation sprang from his interest in iron, particularly vintage ironwork and the Victorian era. As a result, Richardson's garden is surrounded by 100- to 150-year-old iron, stonewalls, antique wainscoting, stained glass, pergolas, courtyards and one big grand entrance.

Richardson keeps a storehouse of the antique materials he uses to build his garden structures. He finds his treasures at local salvage yards, stocking up on whatever he likes, whenever he finds it. The results are breathtaking, and passersby are beginning to notice. In fact, Richardson recently completed a custom design project for a woman who was bold enough to leave her vehicle and hunt down the owner of such amazing land.

His work is certainly polished enough to fetch a handsome price, but Richardson is slow to jump into a business of this magnitude. For now, he plans to concentrate on his own garden creations and to continue to have a yard that inspires others to do the same.

Richardson's advice to those wanting to see their garden imaginings materialize is simple: You're no longer just a gardener or garden enthusiast – you're a landscape artist. Is there a difference? Absolutely. It's all about scale. "What I like about being a landscape artist is that the palate is so large," he says.

There's no limit to garden creativity, except maybe your property line.

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