If you love art, why limit your collection to the indoor domain? Filling your garden with sculptures and art pieces is a fantastic way to add character to your outdoor space. You can choose just one or two standout pieces, or turn your garden into a realm of surprises by fully populating it with people, animals and abstract forms. The latter option works best if you have a lot of space, and lots of unexpected or less-than-obvious places to put your sculptures; otherwise, if they’re all huddled together on a tiny patch of lawn, the impression you’ll give might be that of being an oddball hoarder rather than an appreciator of aesthetics. And of course, not all sculptures are well suited to an outdoor life, so you have to be careful in your selections.
This beautifully elegant fountain recreates the gentle rainfall of spring in a forest or meadow, the water dripping lightly from the leaves of this elaborate plant. This piece works well because it is neither strictly a fountain not strictly a sculpture, but a perfect hybrid of the two. Where traditional stone fountains tend to be very ostentatious, structured and overbearing, standing in deliberate contrast to their outdoor surroundings, this one mimics the innate fragility of the natural world to blend in perfectly with its environment. Even with its water supply switched off, this sculpture would be a fine addition to any garden.
Another fountain from the same designer again merges sculpture and water feature in a similarly impressive way, drawing inspiration from nature for maximum impact. The simplicity of this piece is its strongest attribute, proving that understatement is often the key to making a statement.
Is there such a thing as too much natural influence in design? Perhaps not, because this piece appears to have taken nature to the ultimate degree and it still manages to look quite lovely. A wildlife-heavy scene carved into a tree trunk and left outdoors – it doesn’t get much more rustic than that. The fact that the raw, unfinished parts of the tree have been left visible below the carving and around the sides just adds to the effect, while serving to highlight the incredible intricacy of the craftsmanship that has gone into this piece.
Is your garden not a favourite among the fowl community? Do you put out birdfeeder after birdfeeder, birdhouse after birdhouse and birdbath after birdbath, only to find each one sadly untouched, unoccupied and unsplashed in? Fret not; alternatives are available, and they’re quieter, cleaner and less likely to smash straight into your window. These sedate bird statues are a sweet addition to this lawn, and they’re a lot more peaceful than their living, breathing, squawking cousins. Their simplified, stripped-back design also keeps them firmly in the realm of art, rather than the realm of tacky garden ornament (a realm probably best avoided, if possible).
Another bird, but this time a much more abstract one. Preparing to soar into the air, the bird emerges from the piece of wood it’s carved into. It seems free spirited, fully liberated and a world away from the gentle earthbound delightfulness of the preceding pair of sculptures. This is a sculpture that would suit a garden as wild and untamed as it is – perhaps one with an abundance of tumbling foliage, creeping ivy and uncultivated, unplanned wildflowers.