Chelsea Flower Show credit: Simon Scott

With the Chelsea Flower Show almost upon us, now is a good time to provide some helpful ideas for how to enjoy your garden ornaments. As the person who curates the ORNAMENTI collection has designed 20+ exhibits at Chelsea since 1990, and even has a couple of medals for his Main Avenue Show Gardens, hopefully these tips will prove useful.

Background colours – if you want to show off a garden ornament, place it against a contrasting background colour. That might be a dark yew hedge for a carved limestone statue or a painted wall for a terracotta pot – be brave with colour if you want to really make a statement.

Traffic noise – if you live within earshot of a busy road, consider a fountain. The noisiest fountains are those where water drops directly onto water from a height. A wonderfully therapeutic sound if you are in a tranquil courtyard but also fabulous at distracting from traffic noise.

Focal Points – place your garden ornament at the end of a path or vista, maybe framed by a trellis arch, climbing plants or similar. That will provide a punctuation mark in your garden and raise the ornament from being a humble planter to a fine work of art. Obelisks make great focal points.

Work with nature – garden ornaments don’t have to be formally positioned. Try placing a ball finial or large terracotta pot in a flower or shrub border so it is enveloped by nature. I have seen a bust on an ivy-covered tree stump look wonderful, as though it is floating in the air.

Terrace edges – these can be difficult to delineate. Some will build walls or install balustrades. Why not use a series of zinc troughs, interspersed by terracotta planters? With a wall of planters you can add colour where you will see and appreciate it most.

Stop parking on verges – easy solution is to install a series of Ball Finials alongside your entrance or driveway – just spaced far enough apart so no-one can park or run over your grass. Can look very smart at a property entranceway, adding enjoyment.

Be brave on size – many choose small garden ornaments for small gardens or courtyards. This is a mistake. It is better to have one large ornament that a multitude of smaller pots which can look untidy. One fountain, planter or obelisk is often all that is required.

Keep out of sight – a garden that reveals itself all at once does not encourage a visitor to walk around and enjoy. Make sure you have some interesting item hidden or partially hidden for the visitor to discover. Encourage exploration!

With age comes beauty – a new garden ornaments can look great – but so can an old one that has stood the test of time. Do not automatically rush to clean your garden ornaments. Consider letting them grow old gracefully whilst adding timeless beauty to your garden.

Only buy the best – in current times, we are always tempted by the cheapest option. With garden ornaments you will save in the long term if you buy garden ornaments made from the best materials, sourced by a garden ornament expert from the best suppliers – genuinely frost-resistant terracotta, robust garden furniture not flat pack, heavy grade zinc designs and more. Your enjoyment will last for much longer if you make a considered purchase initially.