Hard to believe how time has flown, but the16th DG annual photo contest has begun! Find the details here. Best wishes to all the entrants!!!

The garden decor in my neighborhood is mostly...

There are a total of 462 votes:

fun, flamboyant and funky
(8 votes, 1%)
Red dot

tasteful and refined
(61 votes, 13%)
Red dot

charming and adds personality to each garden
(68 votes, 14%)
Red dot

out of scale (too small or too big?)
(9 votes, 1%)
Red dot

tacky or gawdy (or...?)
(15 votes, 3%)
Red dot

(259 votes, 56%)
Red dot

(42 votes, 9%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

New Hampshire, NH(Zone 5b)

A few of my neighbors put some thought into their landscaping, but the majority just leave it natural (with a lawn thrown in here and there). I do have one neighbor who uses a little bit of garden art, but I didn't want to rate it because I'm not a fan of most garden art - what I might consider tacky, another will consider charming.

Coffs Harbour, Australia

We're in an estate with 1 hectare blocks, all under 10 years built. Most of the gardens are tidy and quite lovely, big green lawns and large trees. A few are letting the team down, but I like to think they have a life! LOL

Buffalo, NY(Zone 6a)

EVERYone has those STINKING yews and aborvitae! Not that they aren't good evergreens, but come on you landscapers and construction folk!!! Think outside the CHEAP box! Cedars and Junipers aren't THAT much more.

OK ... so, there is one house that attempted to do something different....


Morganton, NC

I'm the only one in my neighbohood who uses garden art. I've been trying to change that, but no luck so far. LOL

Paris, IL(Zone 6a)

Like always, Dave, this poll is difficult to answer with one vote. Personally I would go for something fun, flamboyant and funky like a hand on a spring the wind would wave as it blows. "Hi, from Gary and Judy" would be written on the hand as it waves to passersby. Something to get attention and hopefully cause a smile. Judy won't let me.

Judy would prefer something tasteful and refined or nonexistant letting the flowers speak for themselves. We've settled on charming and adds personality; an old well pump in one, large rocks in another and a small statue in a third of our nine beds.

We live in a rural area so most neighbor's houses are too far from the road to see the decor, if any. The ones I can see tend to be charming and adds personality or nonexistant.

I live in a large city. If you put anything nice out it tends to walk away. I've even had a planter walk away from the front of my house.

I voted nonexistent but my neighbor has a rock and another neighbor farther away has a heavy bench. I only have a heavy birdbath in my back yard and a planter that I hide among plants---if it were more visible I'm sure it would walk away.

Beautiful Brazoria C, TX(Zone 9a)

This week the hood is festive and varied with fallen branches, down or dangling power, phone or cable lines with accents of the neighbor's roof bits sprinkled about. Skeeters are in a happy mood as are roofers and brush-haulers. The local birds have had their harmony disrupted having lost many a home. I am grateful even for the boat on the neighbor's front lawn...none lost their home. All that said, "charming, just plain charming."

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Humor in light of adversity... LOL PullTab!

Our "hood" is in the woods. Decor? Green right now. The distance between us and town is mixed. Some yards are lucky to get mowed... others decorated with every car they ever owned. One place screams A GARDENER LIVES HERE! Always fun to see what is in bloom in their yard.

Looking toward the neighbors...

Thumbnail by podster
Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Most of my neighbors aer Amish. They have tidy gardens, relatively small yards and well kept homes.

My yard is the wild one - overgrown rose fences, very full farm house gardens (nothing 'cottage' about this place). Sometimes I think the hay fields get mown more often than the yard.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I voted "OTHER" because ours is mostly "tired". Our neighborhood is 30 years old, I think folks/builder put in shrubs back then and they are still the same ones today. We also have lots of trees which I love but it makes it harder for folks to want to garden (non-gardening types) because we have a lot of shade, at least in front yards.

Wheatfield, NY(Zone 6a)

I chose 'tasteful and refined'. I live in a relatively new development and the landscapers have very little imagination. They tell you they will give you something out of the ordinary, but everybody hires the same guy, so they all get variations on a theme. I'm working very hard to punch my way 'out of the box'. But so far all my endeavors are in the back yard. It can be seen from across the retention pond that centers our section of the development, though. I've seen people stop and look across. My next door neighbor has very much the same tastes as me and has some lovely plantings as well.

Barstow, CA(Zone 9a)

I voted "other" because of the wide variances among the Early Desert Desperation gardens in my neighborhood. One house has a nicely defended (from the wind) set of mostly potted plants with well maintained lawn. The next hasn't been developed above the original rocky gravelly sandy concrete like original ground. Another shows efforts to grow "some" lawn largely defeated by the hostility of the native ground. Up the street is a practical conversion of the ground into a decorative gravel arrangement.

My own was entirely raw land with a few lovely old creosote bushes at one end of the property when I bought it nearly a year ago. A Pretty Flowers Row defended from the wind was eaten to the ground by invading rabbits, as was a large cantaloupe patch. The chain link fence is in process of being underlain with pretty brick and concrete block where needed to keep the rabbits out. A pair of young apricot trees have yet to add any height despite instructions that they need to be pruned to no more than two feet of growth per year. Only success this year has been a Bird Landing Strip where I provide wild bird seed for the flocks of mostly doves and sparrow sized birds, typically three dozen or more individuals at each of the breakfast club and evening supper club feeding times of choice for the birds who visit me. Definitely an "other" kind of neighborhood.

Hanover Twp., PA(Zone 6a)

Yews for hedges instead of the trees they should be. Landscaping isn't complete until the red geraniums are planted. It doesn't matter what you plant never consider sun or shade and always use a lot of grass, fertilizers and weed killers. That sums up my neighborhood.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

lol mgarr!

Ferndale, AR(Zone 7b)

No neighborhood theme here - there's no neighborhood. We live in the country down a gravel road. Most of us live too far off the road for anyone to see our gardens.

Minden, LA

Our neighborhood is mostly heavily wooded area. The lawns are neat but there are few actual garden areas. There are about 12 houses on the "loop" with half inhabited by retired folks and half by those of us approaching retirement. I'm doing my best to get some garden areas started so that I can enjoy them when I get there.

Iowa City, IA(Zone 5a)

Wow, I can't believe that most voted "nonexistant". I voted charming, because we are in an older neighborhood and most try hard to maintain tasteful yards. Some houses are rental and they are not kept up very well (yard-wise), but the owner-occupied houses really make an effort. My yard and the house immediately to our west have great front yards. That neighbor is pretty famous in the area for her yard, it is just stunning. I'm so lucky to live next to her!


Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

My neighborhood is a combination of sort of English garden style and gravel with xeriscaping. Lots of junipers, too. Too many. I include myself in the too many junipers department and too much gravel department. I didn't do the original landscaping and am now adding flowers and flowering shrubs and fruit trees. It is very slow getting rid of the huge quantity of gravel which I will convert to paths.
Most of the landscaping is very tidy. No weeds. I take a beating for my vacant lot which is nearly entirely native plants. To much of the neighborhood, the native plants are weeds. Some neighbors like it and some do not.
I use the vacant lot also for growing veggies and composting. They **really** don't like the compost -- but I don't care and when one neighbor complained to the county they told her that they welcomed composting as long as it didn't create a nuisance.

Greensboro, AL

That sounds like a victory, Pajaritomt.

My neighborhood consists of 3 historic houses on one side of street (one of which is mine) and a restaurant, a church, and some 1980s brick houses on the other side of the street. On the right is a project.

Before I bought my house the people in the project used part of my back yard to grow vegetables. (I have 2-1/2 acres) In spite of their tiny parcels of land, some people in the project have huge pots of flowers and vegetables and shrubs in their yards like roses, camellias, and crape myrtles.

Between the project and me there is a city "maintained" strip of weedy trees like mimosa, chinaberry, elm, etc. These become missiles in hurricane weather and a lot of them are down in my yard.

So my "landscaping" is mainly defending my property against invasives.

There are some people who don't believe in invasive plants - but i can tell you that if your clear your land within a year these unwanted plants will be back. I would call that invasive.

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

What an interesting thread! My development of 30 homes on 1-acre lots is about 15 years old and the landscaping is tasteful, refined, and so boring that I find myself LONGING for a really huge inflatable pumpkin this time of year, to be succeeded by a giant inflatable Santa. Instead, it's as though everyone got together and voted: white Christmas outside-lights ONLY. I don't know if the home owners association actually polices this, but it's amazing the dampening-effect of peer-pressure.

Anyway, the landscaping is uniformly tidy and pleasant and oh-so-restrained. (Maybe this is a Cape Cod characteristic? I'm from California and we just moved here.) Guess I should be grateful, except I long for some fun and charm. I am pushing the envelope in my garden by slowly converting my front lawn into cottage-garden beds with some seasonal decorations.
Next year: A giant waving hand springing from the mailbox!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I voted tasteful and refined because I'm in a 50 year old inner city neighbourhood with mostly retirees. Alot of big trees and neat, low maintenance gardens with lots of lawn, with a couple of tacky efforts thrown in for interest. Of course I break the mould ^_^ but it gives everyone something to talk about don't ya think? 'I wonder what the poor dear in the pjs is doing now?'

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

It is fun stirring up this entirely too proper neighborhoods. I didn't start out with that as a mission, but now I like it. All I wanted was enough land for a really good veggie garden. Didn't realize I was a radical.

Concord, CA(Zone 9a)

I voted other because my neighborhood has mostly boring. Neat trimmed meatball plants with grass and a tree in the yard. Yes it is boring. The houses are even painted the same boring colors . This is not a housing tract so kind of interesting that my neighbors chose to paint and landscape the same. I have a very different look to my yards with lots of large trees and lots of tropical and semi tropical plants. EEs, cannas, brugs ect and very little grass.
My house is a two story painted white with black trim to the horror of some of my neighbors. pretty funny actually. One of the neighbors asked why we didn't paint our house to match the neighborhood. Geesh you would think it was purple or something.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Actually, painting your house white with black trim sounds pretty conservative. What colors are their houses?? Purple and puce? Just curious.

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

Wow---I could have written Podsters comment. Sounds like we live on the same road. Except, we live in a valley with woods on the hills. The road winds along one side of the valley and there you can witness many different moods, styles and highs and lows in income and resources. It's the valley itself that is lovely, with cows, horses, and burros, a few veg. gardens, grass at all stages, haying in summer, etc. Love it even with the old car yard art next door. At least I can't see them from my yard. LOL

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

My street is boring. I'm about the only one with colors and whimsies in the yard. I like to be different though so it doesn't bother me.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

I have one word to explain the lack of garden art in my neighborhood: HOA! They take exception to anything that prevents our 'Stepford' houses from all looking identical and so overly manicured as to be foreboding, like those living rooms where you are afraid to walk on the floor much less sit on anything.

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

I went for other! Mostly nonexistent. Only two or three that put thought into a garden plan.
I am trying to but I'm not that good at planing a garden. I go more into veggies. Now that I can do. But as for arranging flower beds, I'm at a loss. I seem to have a campaign taste but a beer budget. LOL

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

When I arrange a flower bed I pick what I like and start planting The first pot goes in first then nest to it. Hodge podge at best but I just plant where they fall.

Lancaster, OH(Zone 6a)

I voted non existant.. We live in a neighborhood that ost of the homes werer built 40 years ago but have huge lots (thankfully most are hidden my fences). A few neighbors try to do something every now and again with marigolds but for the most part its either not there at all or overgrown. I have 2 neighbors who have huge azaleas in no proper place just growing in the centers of their front yards. No real rhyme or reason or care of trimming (EVER). My neighbor next door who I love has some garden art nd roses with rubber mulch n varying colors and the one across the street has some very nice palms but wont treat his sagos even though I explained how so it always looks like snow all over them with scale and he never trimms his other palms. All this and of course cars on blocks throughout the nieghborhood with lawns being neglected. Even the school is in need of help which I offered and was refused (I didnt realize people would turn down free plants and labor!)

Scotia, CA(Zone 9b)

My neighborhood has a bit of everything. One has a dragon sculpture, many have bird houses and there are even some with whirligigs. We also have one that thinks their old tire rims make an attractive display...He stacked them up on the front lawn and his wife, the gardener, got tired of hearing him say he'd haul them away and set a huge potted plant on top of them. There are even some that use those life sized deer they make for target practice as year round garden art. One house with a pristine yard and perfectly edged borders plants huge sunflowers randomly about his lawn each year as his form of garden art. I enjoy them all as they depict different personalities and keep the area from looking like a cookie cutter community full of follow the leader drones.

Amelia Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Nonexistent. I'm the only only that has any decor. My front lawn is low key, but has one small whimsical frog and 4 small concrete bunny decorations all by the front porch. Impatiens, and pink flame jacobina are my flowering plants along the front walkway, some vines at the front porch as well. I have a seasonal flag and switch it out with a Stars & Stripes on appropriate days. The back lawn is where I have the majority of my plants and feeders.

Everyone else has the basic lawn, requisite pampas grass and lugustrum hedges. Most keep their lawn tidy, one is a constant eyesore. I think he does that just to be cantankerous.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Had to choose other - the front yards are the same - manicured in regimented fashion - very strict HOA. Viewed as a whole the area does remind me of a park, however. Thank goodness for solid fencing that keeps prying eyes away from my side and back yards. I must be the only veggie gardener in the whole complex...thankfully I have tolerant neighbors on both sides. Yuska

Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

When you live out in the country with the winds of south Texas, you mainly grow outside something to either eat, block the wind or just grow close to the house. Here is what I see on one side. I wouldn't have life any other way.

I can't find my pictures....be back later. I just know you want to see the cattle 30 feet from my back door! (LOL)

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

I chose nonexistant, because for the most part it is. Everyone's yard is different and for the most part, well-cared-for, but there isn't much in the way of non-plant decor, at least in the front yards. A few people have fountains and there might be a cast iron bench or two, but that's about it. There is a Vietnamese family that always flies the American flag. (God bless 'em.) A couple houses have metal fences and driveway gates that in themselves are not unattractive, but I think it looks strange in this low-crime, middle-income, low-traffic neighborhood. To me, it makes it look like drug dealers live there.

Christchurch, New Zealand

Interesting - I voted other because there is a mix of garden styles but only one house down the road with notable 'decor' a large shabby chic birdbath .
My place - well I am working on it but the lawns really need cutting again - spring growth is rampant right now!
Neighbour on my north boundary (the sunny side for us down under) has a wonderful garden, well tended & stocked with gorgeous rhodies & camellias.
On the South side the garden was interestingly overgrown - the new owner is in the midst of slash & burn style clearing of foliage.
I can understand him wanting more air & light but sadly he has knocked over a small but perfectly formed magnolia (nigra?).
He probably didn't realise what a desirable tree it is - I have certainly been highly desirous of it...
every time I walked past it in flower I would wish it was the other side of the fence in my yard.
I do have some decor...
consisting of one plastic frog - a house warming gift that no longer croaks as you walk past it,
a concrete dragon ( a house warming gift to myself)
& some interesting rocks strategically placed (that's my story & I am sticking to it) as accents in the garden.
And my pots of herbs and a very ugly plastic container with a rose awaiting transplant (only been here a year) on my front terrace.
cheers - Dalfyre

Thumbnail by dalfyre
Santa Fe, NM

I chose nonexistant but then realized that is not exactly true. There are some very pretty roses, iris, sunflowers, lilacs, etc. grown in front yards around the 'hood. The most interesting stuff is usually behind a wall or a fence and you have to know the people to see it. There is not much "garden art" in front yards though because things that aren't heavy get stolen. Heavy things get tagged. My front garden is full of roses, day lilies, sunflowers, etc. and looks like a tangled mini-meadow when things are good! I'm surprised that so many people have answered the same. My neighborhood is about 30 - 40 years old but mostly consists of artists, drug dealers and state government employees; in other words, the working poor, Santa Fe style!

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

I voted tacky. My neighborhood has a mix of weedy gravel lots and tacky plastic decorations. The people who live next door tend to put a bit more effort into their yards but it's mostly pretty grim. There is a family across the park who has the typical lawn, but no bushes or flowers, and an enormous concrete fountian that never has water in it. The people who bought our old house replaced the few plants we left behind with icky plastic statues and filled the raised beds in the back yard with gravel. I'm glad we took all the plants we could move.

(Louise) Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

I voted other...I live in a small town established in the late 1800's. Most of the old houses here have no landscaping. I am one of only two homes in town with any landscaping at all.

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