"I think it's getting a little less tacky. I can only hope it is," Tammey Roberts said with a laugh.
Roberts, assistant nursery manager at Snipes Farm & Nursery in Morrisville, added that "the woodsy type" of ornaments, such as statues of various sizes shaped like deer and ducks and turtles, have been especially popular recently.
"It's hard to make stereotypes. It depends on where you live and what you like," Roberts said, although "animals are big sellers this year."
People also have become more creative, making their own life-size animal ornaments that are "really new and different," said Tim Thomas, a division head at Frank's Nursery & Crafts in Fairless Hills.
"People are really improving upon the silhouettes" of animals that have been quite popular for several years now, he added. "There's really a lot of different stuff out there this year."
The silhouettes are pieces of thin board, sometimes whitewashed or stained and usually cut in the shape of geese or sheep.
Some people have combined several looks. At the home of Manuel and Carol Cancel in Fairless Hills, several painted teddy bear cutouts cavort on the front lawn next to a three-dimensional, fur-covered cub, who appears to be pawing around for honey.
Other homeowners have opted for life-size versions of deer or cows. ''People are trying to get some wildlife in the developments," theorized Roberts.
Not everyone has opted for the woodsy, back-to-nature look. Marie Boettger, of Levittown, probably would have been happier if her husband, Carl, had gone that route.
She was initially apprehensive, she said, when her husband decided to build a miniature train engine and park it on their front lawn.
Made from a 55-gallon drum, car hubcaps and wheels, and some lumber, the bright red engine is a one-of-a-kind attraction in the town's Elderberry section. It draws neighborhood children, and a stray cat has taken up residence there, she said.
Richard and Isabel Porter, a Fairless Hills couple who together have made about 3,500 wooden lawn ornaments in less than four years, said they didn't know exactly what would appeal to the public from year to year.
"I never try to outguess them," said Richard Porter, whose own lawn includes cutouts of everything from flowers and butterflies to popular cartoon characters.
The Porters, who have 83 ornaments in their front yard (including several flamingos) and 27 out back, do know, however, that whatever their shape, lawn ornaments strike the fancy of young and old alike.