Treasure hunting: Shopping tips

Ask yourself how best to show off the item you want to buy. Will it look good against an evergreen hedge? In the center of a patio or garden pool? Against a colored stucco wall?

Think outside the box, says Allen. You can hang a chandelier over an outdoor dining table, fill a French washtub with flowers, or set three oil jars on their sides and plumb them to drip water into a pool.

Before you buy, measure the space where you want to put garden art or furnishings, advises Huddle. Keep in mind the overall scale of the garden you're creating.

Make your garden about you and what you like. Personalize it. "Mix up your favorite looks," suggests Egizii.