How to Incorporate Art in Your Landscape

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.

 This partially hidden pagoda sculpture invites visitors in to discover the landscape.

This partially hidden pagoda sculpture invites visitors in to discover the 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.

 This standing rock sculpture echoes the use of natural materials throughout the landscape.

This standing rock sculpture echoes the use of natural materials throughout the landscape.

Add Whimsy

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.

 Steel barrel cactus sculptures bring a touch of the Southwest into this Spokane backyard.

Steel barrel cactus sculptures bring a touch of the Southwest into this Spokane backyard.

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.

 This metal jungle gym was original to the house; the homeowners preserved it as a sculptural centerpiece.

This metal jungle gym was original to the house; the homeowners preserved it as a sculptural centerpiece.

Inject Color

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.

 These colorful glass sculptures anchor the planting bed year-round.

These colorful glass sculptures anchor the planting bed year-round.

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.

 This metal garden gate was commissioned from a local artist and matches a larger gate at the driveway entrance.

This metal garden gate was commissioned from a local artist and matches a larger gate at the driveway entrance.

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!