As conversation pieces go, Mary Consie’s yard art is a real gabber.
Big and bright, the overstuffed stucco chair has been known to slow traffic in her Mesa neighborhood and draw comments from residents and visitors alike.
“One lady left a note on a piece of denim telling me how much she loved the color pink,” says Consie. Teenagers have been known to climb aboard for a photo op.
“Too often art is something hidden away and tucked inside,” she says, preferring to share her playful nature by personalizing her yard with the self-created work. The rest of us, though, must choose from manufactured pieces — statues, gazing balls, sundials, fountains — to individualize ours.
“I think there are a lot of people who don’t care what others think about what they put in their yard,” says Mark Miller Sr. of European Gardens, a garden ornamentation store in Phoenix. “People are looking for something to give them happiness and peace.”
Alice Grandprey of Courtyard Home & Garden Decor in Phoenix says homeowners want yard art they can enjoy from the inside looking out, such as fountains — wall and free-standing. While it’s the sound that initially makes a fountain attractive, it’s the sight of water that makes it inviting.
“People want a focal point for their yard,” says Grandprey. And generally, they know where that focal point should be. They just don’t know what.
Because much of the new Valley construction is Old World, homeowners tend to look for classical yard art. Faux terra cotta wall plaques and iron panels work well in these environments. Statues, often spiritual, do too, particularly angels and saints. Animals also are popular themes with homeowners seeking images of cats, dogs, horses and lions tucked under shrubbery and near trees. Stone cast and resin are oft-used materials for these images, the former material more durable than the latter.
“Here we have a lot of people who use pots as art,” says Miller. And because of this, you can find interesting — and individual — vessels in exaggerated sizes.
The Courtyard Home & Garden Decor
13802 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 120, Phoenix; (480) 922-0562
3624 E. Bell Road, Phoenix; (602) 867-1990