Design & Decor - Garden Decor

Eight tips for placing art in the garden

Patrick Lane
Photography by
Sharron Milstein

Find the perfect piece of art for every budget, style and garden size

Size it up (or down) Wade points out that the size of the sculpture should relate to the setting. “Don’t pick a piece of art that will overwhelm the space, unless that’s the look you’re going for, but avoid choosing something that’s too small either, or it will look lost.”

Cassells provides a typical example of not getting the scale right: “So often, you see golf ball-sized orbs on top of eight-foot-high stone or brick pillars—they’re completely out of proportion.”

The journey “Someone once said that a garden is a journey with a destination,” muses Cassells. Small pieces of sculpture, such as a bird bath placed next to a pathway, can guide that journey. “You’re using sculpture to slow the pace of visitors, inviting them to stop at certain points along the way.”

Keep it simple Don’t go overboard. A garden crowded with attention-grabbing plants and bold colours is not necessarily the best setting for a wonderful piece of art, says Wade. “Think of how art galleries and museums place their art; the background is less important than the piece itself.”

The magic of art in the garden “There is something wonderful about the changing nature of art in the garden,” says Wade. “Copper develops a soft verdigris patina, steel rusts into warm orange-brown hues and wood turns silvery grey over time.”

“We don’t appreciate beauty enough,” laments Cassells. “Monet said his garden was his greatest work of art—we should all strive for that in our own gardens.”


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