In the last few years, I believe that the term ‘garden art’ has become part of a gardeners vocabulary. Many of the gardens that I visit today, not only feature plants, which are the primary focus but also garden art has been added as a complimentary accessory. It has not been that many years ago when visiting a garden, the plants would not only be the primary feature but in most cases, the only feature. That is not so today.
What is garden art? I would say that it is a nonplant feature in a garden, often used to complement the plants surrounding it. It can be large, small, serious or whimsical, the choice is yours and I find that garden art pieces often reflect a bit of the personality of the gardener! Garden art can be something that the gardener collects such as watering cans which I have seen displayed in groupings for a very nice effect. Or it could be a birdhouse or birdhouses as is the case in our garden when we started with one and then just kept buying more! When I see the frogs in a bed of grass in the garden of Barbara Blossom, it always makes me smile.
I cannot remember when we added our first piece of garden art, but now it is an essential part of our garden. It probably started with something we bought at a plant sale and from that time on, we have continually added various pieces. We always try to buy at least one new piece of garden art each year, often it is more than one!
On a recent visit to the Wilco store in Canby, I saw that they have a good variety of garden art objects and that would be a good place to get started. I also like to check out the many plant organizations that host plant sales each spring because they often have vendors selling garden art pieces they have made. These sales are a good place to get something original.
While I do not always adhere to this suggestion, it is wise to have somewhat of an idea of where you are going to put your garden art piece. Of course, there is the thought that I often take and that is if you buy it, you’ll find a place for it. It is like buying a plant, there is also room for one more.
We do have some garden art pieces that are large and definitely a focal point in our garden. One of my favorites is a large steel piece that has a fern leaf pattern that has been cut out of it. We get many comments on this from garden visitors. We also have many other smaller pieces of various sizes scattered throughout the garden.
Keep in mind that some pieces of garden art can be a permanent fixture in the garden but there are some that should probably be brought indoors during the winter. We always bring our glass pieces indoors during the winter months and store them in the garage and then clean them each spring before we put them out. Some pieces, especially those from wood, will probably require some maintenance each season to keep them looking their best.
Have some fun by adding garden art to your garden. Once you start, it will be hard to stop!