Incorporating art into your landscape can elevate it to another level, but it can be hard to figure out how to bring art in without it feeling like an afterthought. If you’re in need of inspiration, here are six ways to include art in a thoughtful manner.
Lead the Eye
Art is a great focal point in the garden. A piece of art draws the viewer toward itself, which creates a flow through the landscape. Whether it’s a major statement that defines a space or a smaller piece that teases the viewer from afar, art can be used to lead the eye and direct people through a landscape.
Create a Theme
Art can also be used to establish and strengthen a theme throughout the landscape. It can unite disparate elements or echo similar ones. A bold piece of art can dictate the style of a whole space. Meanwhile, on constrained properties where different parts of the landscape are separated from each other, repeated artworks can create a rhythm among themselves and connect those spaces.
At its most basic, garden art brings personality into the garden. It can be an opportunity to showcase a durable collection, or just to make wishful thinking into reality. You might never get a blue heron drinking from your water feature, but with a piece of art you can have one year-round. You won’t see a cactus or agave surviving the Inland Northwest winter, but a sculpture has no problem. Garden art can simply be a fun expression of your whims.
Include the Old
Landscapes can grow stale or simply not meet your needs. In the event of a landscape makeover, elements from the old landscape can be incorporated as art in the new landscape. If you’re decommissioning a fountain, consider adding some drainage holes and turning it into a planter. Salvaged bricks can be turned into a decorative patio inlay, or an old gate could become a trellis. Get creative to preserve the history of your site while adapting it to fit your lifestyle.
Art can provide forms and colors that no plant can match. It offers predictable, year-round interest with little to no care. Glass sculptures and gazing balls, glazed ceramic urns and bird baths, and powder-coated metal trellises and screens are just a few options for bright, cheerful color that can keep your winter garden from feeling boring while being just as dynamic in the growing season.
Give it a Job
Art doesn’t have to be an aside in the garden; it can be a functional part of the landscape. If you’re putting in a fence, it could feature a decorative pattern. Your bird feeder could hang from a metal sculpture instead of a simple hook. Upgrade your flower pots to statement-making planters, or switch out your coir door mat for something more fun. If it’s something you look at or use regularly, make sure it brings you joy at the same time.
If you’re looking to design your landscape and don’t know where to start, get in touch with us at Pacific Garden Design to talk about your project!