By KIM COOK Associated Press
Those drawn to 19th century style may be pleased to learn that vintage garden decor is a trend this spring and summer.
The look involves florals, weathered wood, wire, period typography, bird motifs and accessories, and other elements with a Victorian vibe, says Tom Mirabile, a trend watcher for Lifetime Brands.
The appeal lies largely in the era's garden-as-haven aesthetic, he says.
"We look at the Victorian age as an era when there was just a lot of time," he said at an industry trends seminar earlier this year at the NY Now trade show.
Conservatories, greenhouses and aviaries were popular in stately Victorian-era homes, but even modest residences might have a little birdcage. Fashionable too were ferns, palms and terrariums.
Floral motifs -- and roses in particular -- were all the rage during the Victorian era. Art and textiles featured illustrated flora and fauna from home and exotic parts of the world.
Parrots, toucans, lilies and hummingbirds are vibrant examples that can be mounted in simple frames and placed near a patio door -- or anywhere the gentility and charm of the period might be appreciated.
Jennifer Stuart, an artist in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has designed a collection of plates depicting damask and floral prints of the 19th century on patio-friendly melamine. (www.zazzle.com )
Cast-iron and wicker furniture and containers were used both indoors and out in the late 19th century, just as today we use rattan chairs in the family room and the garden, or iron plant stands in the kitchen as well as the patio.
Early visitors to resorts in New York's Adirondack Mountains discovered the eponymous big wooden chair that's withstood hundreds of years of style changes. A good selection in both real wood and Polywood, a recycled plastic resembling wood, is at www.hayneedle.com .
And, turquoise chicken-wire baskets and cloches can be found at www.farmhousewares.com , which also has a vintage-style garden supply shop sign in the form of a hand. Galvanized planter pots in sets of six would make great receptacles for herbs or miniature blooms.