6 Tips for Placing Art in the Garden

Art in the garden is just as important as art in your home or office. It adds individuality and character. It can be a mural or a plaque, a statue or an installation. Contemporary or classical. Challenging or conventional.

It can act as a focal point, reinforce the historical context of the garden, a metaphor or to raise a smile.

“Gardens are the result of a collaboration between art and nature”  said Penelope Hobhouse.

At  Jardin we source a variety of objects, in conjunction with our clients,  and, importantly, to suit the scale and design of the setting. Used well, art can elevate your garden from the ordinary to the interesting.

A Classic look


Antique stone statue

This is great in a formal setting. It is safe and tasteful.  Above, a huge investment piece, but less expensive options are available.

Antique stone sculpture, Jardin.

Small antique stone sculpture, Jardin.

Classic-style wall plaque

Classic-style wall plaque


Contemporary art is at home in modern courtyard gardens as well as rolling acres of parkland.

It adds interest to a bland scene, maybe something reflecting light in a dark corner…

Contemporary art fair, Paris 2013

Steel mirror polished by Francis Sobrino.
Contemporary art fair, Paris 2013

… or reflective on a smaller scale

The Thinker. Jardin

The Thinker. Jardin

It can be fanciful – like Diarmuid Gavin’s giant flowers below

Design by Diarmuid Gavin

Design by Diarmuid Gavin

… or practical, like a custom-made gate

Even a decorative gate designed for your garden gives lots of character

Classic v Contemporary

The female form – demure or forthright?

Classic callipygian statue of Venus at Chantilly. Demure on approach but lifts her skirts to reveal her bottom

Classic callipygian statue of Venus at Chantilly.
Demure on approach but lifts her skirts to reveal her bottom

The more challenging rear of Gaston Lachaise's  Standing Woman (1932)

The more challenging rear of Gaston Lachaise’s Standing Woman (1932)

Here are 6  tips for placing art in your garden

  1. Choice. Choose something you like … it doesn’t have to be conventional or expensive, just something you love
  2. Planning. Think about where you will place it before buying – you don’t have to match artwork to the garden’s style but beware of impulse buys and then trying to fit it in somewhere
  3. Height. Will it need a pedestal to be shown to its best advantage?
  4. Placement. Try using a lightweight substitute and move it about until satisfied before placing a heavy statue
  5. Scale. A common mistake is choosing something too small, which won’t have the impact you want. Equally, less is more. Don’t place a number of disparate elements which will look fussy and lessen the overall impact.
  6. Sourcing. Is there an artist working near you who could create something individual? Or someone at a market you visit? Reclamation yards might unearth  something interesting and not too expensive.

“As in all of the arts, the best garden designers take risks. Only by taking risks can you come up with something exciting and original”.  James van Sweden.

Maybe it’s time to take a few risks in your garden?


(All photography mine;  feel free to use any of Jardin’s images but please credit and link back)

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3 thoughts on “6 Tips for Placing Art in the Garden

  1. Pingback: Sculpture in the Park | Jardin

  2. Thanks for the article! I love how suggest choosing a piece that you really like then planning around it. Though matching the statue to the garden can be critical, it isn’t mandatory. Keeping in mind the size and attitude of the piece also add to the garden. While walking through a botanical garden in California, I noticed that the statue felt more like another person in the garden with me. It was cool to see the affect the statue had on the plants around it. I wish I could do something as beautiful in my own garden.

    Liked by 1 person

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