It’s the little touches that make a house a home, and the same holds true for your yard. A well planned garden will improve the appearance of your landscape and give you a peaceful place to retreat outdoors. Whether in your front yard or backyard, granite ornamental elements can beautifully accent your garden and add the finishing touch to make it picture-perfect.
One of the trends in garden design for 2018 is making craftsmanship a priority. In the garden, handcrafted is always best. From handcrafted bird baths and fountains to sundials and compasses, Swenson Granite Works carries several granite ornamental elements in five colors that will add natural beauty, solidity, and permanence to your yard. These granite products are virtually maintenance-free, naturally durable and will last for generations.
Let’s take a look at how seven ornamental elements from Swenson Granite Works can be incorporated in any garden design.
A granite bird bath is a timeless, functional accent to your garden. We offer four bird bath styles stocked in five granite colors.
Woodbury Gray granite classic apex bird bath -- a round bath with a 36 inch high pedestal.
Autumn Pink granite standard apex bird bath -- a round bath with an 18 inch high base.
Woodbury Gray granite octagon bird bath -- an octagon shaped bath with a square base.
Woodbury Gray granite lo-boy bird bath -- a round bath with a 12 inch high round base.
There are plenty of added benefits to having a bird bath in your garden. It will obviously attract more birds, which will help aerate the soil. The birds will eat bugs, thus helping with garden pest control. And of course, you will be fascinated by the many different tiny feathered creatures that pay you a visit.
Both sculptural and functional, a handcrafted granite bench will last for generations and add a nice focal point to your garden. Durable and weather resistant, Swenson’s benches need not be covered or stored. Place one in a sunny spot or a shady nook and this bench will soon become your favorite spot for tranquil repose. A granite bench is also a wonderful way to memorialize and remember a loved one with custom engravings.
Swenson Granite Works offers several colors, edge finishes and styles, as well as custom granite seating. Bench style options include s-shape, kidney, tree, rectangular, antique, seat-wall style, and park style with a backrest.
A Woodbury Gray granite classic rectangular bench sits beautifully in this garden among petunias.
This circular patio with Autumn Pink standard style kidney benches is a peaceful place to unwind.
A granite fountain will not only enhance your garden with its organic beauty, it also creates a peaceful atmosphere with the soothing sound of flowing water.
A charming feature for your garden, Swenson’s 2-tier granite fountain is stocked in five granite colors. Electricity is required for the fountain pump, but there is no plumbing needed, since the pump recirculates the water you fill it with.
Unique water features can be arranged with materials such as millstones and cobblestones.
Both an ageless decorative item and a unique time telling piece, a sundial brings an element of antiquity and functional beauty to your garden.
Although we don’t necessarily need these structures to tell time anymore, we can still appreciate them. Sir Mark Lennox-Boyd, British Conservative politician and spouse of landscape architect Arabella Lennox-Boyd, also sees no reason to cease designing them. “Nobody needs them and hasn’t for more than 200 years, but there is a renewal of interest in objects and sculptures in gardens,” he has told Architectural Digest.
Swenson Granite Works carries granite sundial bases, as well as metal armillary spheres and bronze sundials that come with instructions on how to position correctly in order to set the time. Custom engraving is available. These accents can be implemented into a flower bed, or near the garden or walkway.
A custom engraved Autumn Pink granite sundial base with a bronze sundial.
A Woodbury Gray granite sundial base with a metal armillary sphere.
Like the sundial, a granite compass adds flare and functionality to your garden. Swenson Granite Works stocks Woodbury Gray granite compasses in both 18 and 30 inches in diameter. There is also the option of having other creative designs engraved, such as your state in the center of the compass rose or chessboard patterns, and more.
There are several creative uses for Swenson’s granite compass. It can be set into walkways, patios and garden areas; either mortored or cemented here into walls standing upright; or used as a table top. The granite compass can also be used as a navigational instrument if positioned correctly.
A custom engraved Woodbury Gray granite compass rose set into the patio of this home on the Kennebunk River. Photography by Jeff Roberts.
A standard Woodbury Gray granite compass.
Although we don’t need them to grind wheat or grain any longer, millstones still serve a valuable purpose in the garden. These antiqued devices can be used as ornamental elements that bring a sense of history and permanence to your landscape design.
We’ve seen many creative uses for our granite millstones in front yards and backyards. A granite millstone can stand on its own; be set into a circular patio design; used for seating; used as an entry step; or crafted into a water feature.
Swenson Granite Works carries millstones that are 4 feet in diameter and 7 inches thick, as well as 30 inch diameter, and even two sizes of half-moon steps. Custom engraving is available.
The Woodbury Gray granite millstone acts as an entry step within the arbor for homeowners and guests to transition from the driveway to the backyard.
An engraved Woodbury Gray granite millstone honors loved ones.
This Woodbury Gray granite millstone and cobblestones have been set into the ground to create a unique garden focal point.
The warmth and lighting of a fire pit will extend your outdoor living season, allowing you to enjoy your backyard year round. “Fire is more than keeping people warm,” says exterior designer Scott Shrader. “It’s about getting people out and keeping them out.”
Not only is a granite fire pit perfect for social gatherings and outdoor grilling, it makes an attractive focal point in the garden.
Jeremi Bigosiński, ASLA, Founding Principal of Form Plus Matter, enjoys his Swenson Granite DIY fire pit.
Swenson’s DIY fire pit is made from Woodbury Gray granite, with a 30 inch diameter cast iron ring and tilt back cooking grate included. Other ring styles are available. Fire pits are stocked in Woodbury Gray, plus six other granite colors are available by special order. There are 16 blocks per tier, and each block weighs roughly 50 lbs. The fire pit is available as 1-tier, 2-tier or 3-tier.
When choosing garden ornaments, it’s important to find ones that are the right size for your outdoor space. Landscape designer Wesley Rouse suggests cutting a piece of cardboard to the height and width of a piece and placing it in different locations until you find the perfect spot.
Your local Swenson Granite store can help you incorporate these ornamental elements into your garden design by working with you to choose your features and plan the project from start to finish. We can help with everything from choosing your stone and tips on DIY projects to custom one-of-a-kind projects.
Find more inspiration for your garden with a tour through some of New England’s most beautiful backyard spaces. Download our inspiration guide here.