How to use Sculpture in the Garden
Using sculpture in the garden
A piece of garden sculpture can act as a focal point to draw the eye and bring the whole thing together. You may feel your garden needs to be punctuated with interesting features – at the end of a pathway, for instance, or edging some steps. You might want to emphasise another feature, such as a doorway or a gap in the hedge with a view beyond or to enhance your planting.
Works of sculpture frequently double as containers, or highlight plants because they are juxtaposed with them nicely, such as frothy grasses planted in a solid steel container.
You might like using the art in an area you use for relaxation or contemplation and have something that can engender a feeling of peace like a gentle water feature; or maybe you want something that makes you smile – a figure sitting among the foliage or under a tree, an statue placed in an unexpected location – even a gnome in a tree hollow will do the trick. Other uses for garden art are to disguise eyesores or at least detract from them, or simply to fill gaps.
If you are having a garden designed, or if your garden is new, I would advise you to choose your garden art at the same time as you make landscaping decisions. That way, provision can be made to incorporate it among the plants to show it to best advantage, or provide a suitable setting. Remember that your garden will change with the seasons and the years.
Where to find Garden Sculpture
Finding the right piece of art for your garden takes time, patience and imagination. Visiting sculpture gardens and try artists’ websites for a range of styles and costs; architectural and salvage yards are good for items which can be artistically adapted – such as chimney pots, lead cisterns, stone mill-wheels, doors, pedestals and ironmongery. Don’t forget to check salvage from the sea, too. Oyster poles and drift wood can make objects d’art! Boot sales and junk shops often throw up unusual items; go to house contents sales or check the catalogues of antique fairs. Even an old fallen log can make an effective statement in a garden. It seems obvious, but borrow books on garden design from the library, and look at gardening magazine pictures and advertisements.
The garden as Art
Quite often gardens are works of art in themselves. They have structure, colour, and attract the eye and are carefully designed, or simply evolve. Monet might have been the most famous, but the list of artists who have found inspiration in a garden is long and prestigious.