Garden trends - sculpture in garden design

As we continue to invest more in our gardens, sculpture is increasingly being used to add personality, interest, a focal point or a touch of glamour to outdoor spaces.

One of the first consideration, is budget.  A beautiful old stone bird bath or big Grecian urn can act as sculptures, or you might want to explore something more adventurous and unique.

In terms of the tone of the piece you choose, whether contemporary and sleek, rustic or traditional, figurative or a more abstract, you’ll probably find the style you choose is dictated by your house and garden and whether you want your sculpture to harmonise in its setting.

There’s a wide range of materials suitable for garden sculpture.  Stone is a beautiful, durable material whether smooth, hard-wearing granite and marble, which might suit a modern vibe, or aged stone busts and figures that’ll give your garden a classical feel – keep a look out at antique reclamation yards for these.  Metal sculptures, such as the stunning contemporary work by the popular sculptor David Harber, work beautifully in a garden setting.  His rust-coloured corten steel and bronze sculptures echo natural, autumnal tones beautifully, while Richard Hudson’s shiny metal sculptures stand out rather than blend.  Carved timber sculpture has an organic textural feel that might suit a more naturalistic garden.  Also consider scale and consider whether you’re looking for something quiet and delicate or something to make a big statement.

Finding the best location for your sculpture will enhance both your outdoor space and the piece itself.  Using a stunning piece of outdoor art as a focal point at the end of a vista or through an internal window is an obvious choice, but it might equally work to tuck a piece along a path as a surprise interest.  And what about the planting around it – would you like your art to rise out of the planting or a piece set off by an architectural evergreen hedge.  Finally consider lighting to add that extra drama at night.  Roll on those balmy summer evenings!