Not In My Back Yard

30 Lawn and Garden Products That Are a Complete Waste of Money

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Not In My Back Yard

not in my back yard

We've all seen those mega-decorated yards where you can barely see the grass for all the decor. But often, what we see are things we'd never imagine having on display on our tasteful property, even if we're not up on the latest decorating trends. Of course, there's a buyer for every product — but we're kind of stumped at the audience for these somewhat off-center products, many strictly decorative and others purportedly useful. Oh well, guess one man's trash really is another man's lawn-and-garden treasure. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: 22 Tips to Keep Gardening Dirt Cheap

Pink Flamingo Yard Stake (2-Count)
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pink flamingo yard stake (2-count)

Price: $10 | Buy it from Party City
Let's start with the classic — the pink flamingo. Even if you're being ironic, you know there is no real reason for this quirky bird on a stick, unless, of course, it's to make the neighbors cringe.

Bighorn Sheep Statue
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bighorn sheep statue

Price: $93 | Buy it from Target
Um, if you've been looking for that resin bighorn sheep sculpture — complete with "realistic animal features" — to place in your yard, look no further. Said to be skillfully crafted to be balanced and durable, this polyresin and stone powder, weather-resistant creation "is life-like and fits perfectly in a grassy or tree filled area. The resting majestic animal looks right at home in a yard or garden setting as well." Enough said.

Bug Top
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bug top

Price: $5.12 | Buy it from Miles Kimball
This one we veto on aesthetics alone. With only one review — and a pretty funny-looking product photo, we think we'd simply spray on some repellant rather than pop on this mesh fashion (?) item. Just how many mosquitoes are you fighting?

Super-Sized David Garden Sculpture
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super-sized david garden sculpture

Price: $129 | Buy it from Design Toscano
Um, there's classical sculpture — and then there's this. A reflection on contemporary taste (or contemporary eating habits?), this resin "work of art" stands at 30 inches high and billed as offering "more to love." That's an understatement.

Arabesque 59-Inch Wind Chime
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arabesque 59-inch wind chime

Price: $431 | Buy it from Hayneedle
Perhaps you like the delicate clink of a wind chime blowing in the breeze. Well, imagine the sound that this mega-chime would make — and the chunk it will take out of your checking account. Clearly for the devotee, this aluminum piece is "hand-tuned to the scale of G." For everyone else… next!

Bigfoot The Garden Yeti Statue
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bigfoot the garden yeti statue

Price: $109 to $2,299 | Buy it from Design Toscano
No, you read that right — the largest option, the "life-size" (really?) statue, commands four figures and offers "startling realism." Yes, we're told, it "will have guests doing a double-take as they admire your creative decor style!" We say someone is laughing all the way to the proverbial bank.

Hippie Face Planter — Jerry
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hippie face planter — jerry

Price: $65 | Buy it from GardenFun
Attention, Deadheads. We're thinking Grateful Dead fanatics would be the only market for this wacky Jerry Garcia-inspired planter that has a decidedly Chia Pet feel to it. Note, too, the peace sign-emblazoned bandana that sets it all off.

32-Inch Insanely Amazing Octopus Wall Decor
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32-inch insanely amazing octopus wall decor

Price: $330 | Buy it from GardenFun
Will your poolside shed be able to live without this accent? GardenFun thinks not when it comes to this durable fiberglass indoor/outdoor piece: "Anyone that enjoys Octopus, or Nautical themed items, or looking for a stunning wall display will go crazy over this item!" that's a perennial best-seller. Go figure.

Related: 20 Reasons Not to Put in a Backyard Pool
Outdoor Faux Boxwood Spiral Topiary
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outdoor faux boxwood spiral topiary

Price: $250 | Buy it from Pier1
We may not have a green thumb — and have certainly admired the elegance of a silk-flower arrangement — but to buy a fake tree for outdoors? Sorry, but that's kind of pathetic … even if we grudgingly admit that a pair of these would look utterly sophisticated flanking the front door.

Buddha And Elephant Garden Decor Statue
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buddha and elephant garden decor statue

Price: $8 | Buy it from Christmas Tree Shops
Isn't the Buddha supposed to bring a sense of serenity? This kooky little polyresin statue tries to do too much — featuring a baby Buddha with a strange expression, an elephant plus a butterfly — and ends up a wacky piece that simply confuses.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake Garden Statue
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western diamondback rattlesnake garden statue

Price: $39 | Buy it from Bed Bath & Beyond
"Your guests may be shocked when they see the super-realistic Western Diamondback Rattlesnake Garden Statue." You think? If you've got a mean streak, then go ahead and purchase this hand-painted resin piece that's poised to strike.

Small Garden Gnome
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small garden gnome

Price: $64 | Buy it from Pier1
A particular front lawn in my hometown is so filled with gnomes you feel like you are a giant looking over a tiny kingdom, but we don't think you have to break the bank buying the little guys. This "guardian of the garden" seems a bit nondescript to justify its hefty price tag.

Garden Peeker Garden Art
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garden peeker garden art

Price: $17 | Buy itfrom Bits And Pieces
Add some humor. Surprise your guests … these are two of the reasons given for buying this elf-themed, weather-resistant polyresin "sculpture" — a face and two hands — that you mount onto an unsuspecting tree. Someone to watch over you…?

Smith & Hawken Concrete Garden Snail
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smith & hawken concrete garden snail

Price: $16-$19 | Buy it from Target
This durable concrete product — "built to last for years of outdoor enjoyment" — is said to add a whimsical touch to your shrubbery. But why?

Wind Spinner, Metal, Red, White And Blue
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wind spinner, metal, red, white and blue

Price: $36 | Buy it from TrueValue
You know the things designed to keep a baby quiet by mesmerizing them? Well, this seems to translate that concept to adults. This patriotic metal-and-plastic item features swirls that "spin on breezy days," so you can "create a playful focal point for the eyes." Is that really necessary?

The Out-Of-This-World Alien Extra Terrestrial Statues
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the out-of-this-world alien extra terrestrial statues

Price: $25 to $675 | Buy it from Design Toscano
This company has hit bizarro gold with its options — we're stopping our search of its site with this alien figurine, another creation cast in "quality designer resin." Your guests will marvel over what's expected to become "your favorite foreign, otherworldly mystery from outer space."

Lawn Demon 12-Inch Five-Blade Height Adjusting Push Reel Mower
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lawn demon 12-inch five-blade height adjusting push reel mower

Price: $50 | Buy it from Home Depot
So you want to get in a little exercise while maintaining your lawn? An old-school push mower might be the way to go, but while this model doesn't require much investment, you might end up pretty frustrated. Mixed reviews included one disgruntled buyer who pretty much knocked everything about it: "This one is very lightweight, the blades get jammed up, you can't cut very thick grass, it has plastic wheels that slide on the grass."

Garden Sitting Fairy
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garden sitting fairy

Price: $180 | Buy it from GardenFun
Are we going to be shamed for mocking fairies? Well, unless you're an impressionable young girl — or someone who truly embraces what they consider magical … then this pricey 26-by-13-by-24-inch resin design won't be charming you anytime soon.

EMSCO 24-Inch Resin Picket Garden Fence
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emsco 24-inch resin picket garden fence

Price: $45 | Buy it from Home Depot
If we're going to do an outdoor project, we want to have products and tools that make for a smooth job. These 18-packs did get some good reviews, but more than 300 reviews added up to just an average of 2.6 out of 5 stars. One "handyman" reviewer summed it up by saying, "This fence CAN serve its purpose, but it's a nightmare to get it to cooperate." We'll skip.

Ceramic Tortoise, Frog And Snail Statue
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ceramic tortoise, frog and snail statue

Price: $25 | Buy it from Cracker Barrel
This wacky indoor-outdoor piece falls somewhere between the realistic and the whimsical leaving us pretty nonplussed. Guess we don't have the "wandering imagination," as described, of the ideal customer.

Pollinator Friendly Sign
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pollinator friendly sign

Price: From $24 | Buy itfrom Etsy
We're not knocking the artistry of WertheimDesignStudio's "Pollinator Friendly" sign. After all, it's colorful, ready to plop into your garden and already receiving rave reviews. We just don't know any butterflies, bees or other flying creatures that would be able to read it — and in theory, prove its supposed purpose.

Suncast 100-Foot Resin Wicker Hose Pot
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suncast 100-foot resin wicker hose pot

Price: $15 | Buy it from Walmart
What ever happened to spooling up your garden hose and hanging it from a hook? Nowadays it seems you need another product to simply store the hose. Well, this hose pot is designed to help store the hose in plain sight, but some reviewers questioned its lightweight feel while another called it "nice looking but useless."

All-Weather Red Geranium Bush By Oakridge Outdoor
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all-weather red geranium bush by oakridge outdoor

Price: $9 | Buy it from Miles Kimball
If we didn't go for the artificial trees outdoors, then you must have known that artificial flowers wouldn't get our approval either. We give a pass to the self-proclaimed "older" reviewer who needs something low-maintenance — but for the rest of you, get gardening and skip this mixed-review polyester/plastic item.

Galvanized Flower Caddy

galvanized flower caddy

Price: $30 | Buy it from Gardener's Supply Company
We're all for simplicity when it comes to the great outdoors — and this product seems over-designed to us. Sure it's got that vintage look, but do you need "four conjoined French flower market buckets, which give it stability as well as unique style." Won't a simple bucket do just as well?

Everbloomin' Alliums
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everbloomin' alliums

Price: $50 | Buy it from Gardener's Supply Company
These tall, powder-coated steel accents don't do much more than look pretty and add "pops of color." Isn't that what the real flowers are for? We'll keep our nearly 50 bucks, thank you very much.

29-Inch King Frog Statue With Umbrella
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29-inch king frog statue with umbrella

Price: $25 | Buy it from SteinMart
Galt International Company's statue features a frog. With an umbrella. This is kitsch at its finest. But that doesn't mean we want the metal piece on our lawn.

Swimming Koi Sculptures
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swimming koi sculptures

Price: $30 to $85 | Buy it from Uncommon Goods
We like koi. We like gardens. We like koi fish in garden ponds — but these fish are freaking us out a little. As described, "Tyson Weiss's handmade, deep blue ceramic koi fish conjure a dreamy, underwater scene in a garden or yard." Yes, they seem lovely — but we just can't make that leap to see them "swimming" on greenery. Sorry.

Delightful Dancing Ducks ‘Welcome' Sign
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delightful dancing ducks ‘welcome' sign

Price: $28 | Buy it from Design Toscano
This hand-painted resin item offers a welcome that will certainly offer a glimpse into the purchaser's, ahem, sensibility.

Victorian Garden Gnomes
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victorian garden gnomes

Price: $100 | Buy it from Victorian Trading Co.
The company offering this set of three shares that "these legendary bearded fellows originated in Germany over a century ago to ward off hungry rabbits and small ogres." Well, this serious take on the genre is hand-cast with stone aggregate to mimic cement (without the weight) — but we find their expressions a bit unnerving.

Design Toscano The Meerkat Gang Sculpture
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design toscano the meerkat gang sculpture

Price: $118 | Buy it from Amazon
Is your garden gallery in need of its finishing touch? Then perhaps these crazy critters need to join your outdoor museum. The piece is hand-cast using real crushed stone bonded with "high quality designer resin" — and individually hand-painted by artisans. It's an exclusive, to boot.