Glass comes in many forms to make your garden sparkle

There are many commonly used materials involved in designing a garden or landscape. But just because we are familiar with certain building materials doesn't mean those are the only materials you can use in construction. Something less common is finding new expression in the landscape: glass.

Clear tumbled glass looks like snow.Credit: Photo and garden design by Jane Gates

Glass comes in many forms. You can use stained glass to add jeweled color in the form of built-in windows or dangling décor. Glass blocks can be built into walls outdoors as well as indoors giving a whole new dimension to the solidity and light effects you can get in a structure. Colored or textured glass can be pressed into stepping stones or flat surfaces like stucco to form decorative designs or pictures.

You can even help reuse discarded glass when you use tumbled glass or glass pieces that have been recycled. Much of the glass used for landscaping is recycled. Tumbled glass can be bought in single colors or mixtures then mixed in with concrete or plaster to create decorative surfaces for counter-tops or cast cement in walkways or patios. Glass pieces can be scraped or sanded when embedded in surfaces to create a glittering aggregate texture. Or try using fire glass to bejewel the open area of a fire pit or to sparkle the surface of a fireplace. To keep things simple you can simply sprinkle tumbled glass over the surface of soil as mulch in a decorative garden bed or to cover the soil in potted plants to make them ornamental.

There are many ways to use glass as a garden building material. The glass for sale for landscape purposes has been processed so there are no dangerous sharp edges. And unlike other landscape building materials, glass plays with light, creating depth while casting colored shadows or rainbows that will decorate the whole garden area. You will be adding glow, color and a little extra magic that no ordinary construction materials can offer. So design glass into your garden for some wonderful effects.