Choosing art for your garden.

I was delighted to see an added attraction at Bloom Garden Festival this year – a Garden of Irish Sculptures beautifully displayed by the Main Entrance to the Show. All the pieces were for sale and seemed to be provoking much interest. In January Jardin predicted some Garden Trends for 2014 and one of these I felt was the growing interest in displaying sculpture in the domestic garden.

So what should be the guiding principles?

  • Context : I think the piece you choose should suit the style of your garden and home as much as possible. If you have a romantic planting of old roses and foxgloves, then something more traditional might suit.  Classical statuaryIn a cottage garden, perhaps something whimsical or rustic.   As a rule.  If you like to “mix it up” and feel confident in pulling it off, then go ahead, you may well create something really exciting.
    Whimsical sculptures by

    “Fat birds”, Whimsical sculptures by Grainne Watts in the Bloom Sculpture Gallery.

    Modern streamlined gardens tend to look better with a contemporary piece.

The Thinker. Jardin

The Thinker. Jardin

  • Size : Having something too small is almost as bad as a garden dominated by an outsized object. So before you purchase, have a good idea where you are going to place something (experts suggest doing cardboard cut-outs and moving them about) and be clear as to why you want it. Smaller pieces can be given greater prominence by placing them on a plinth or pedestal.

    'Giant Irish Deer', bronze, Liz O'Kane

    ‘Giant Irish Deer’, bronze, Liz O’Kane

  • Less is more : No matter how much you love to collect, less really is more. Lots of disconnected bitty pieces scattered through the garden can make  your garden seem disjointed and busy. If you do like to collect, and your garden is not a mini Versailles, store some of it away and rotate its place in the garden.
'Angel of Love' , willow, Breda Marron.

‘Angel of Love’ , willow, Breda Marron.

Of course, it does not have to be stone or bronze, although these are investment pieces which should last a lifetime and beyond.

There are many willow sculptures available, or perhaps a course you can attend to learn the art yourself.

I loved Breda Marron’s 4 metre high Angel, above. And later saw one placed at Beaulieu House at their garden overlooking the river Boyne.

The gardens at Beaulieu House

The gardens at Beaulieu House

Do take advice from the experts – many will assist you in suggesting pieces, as indeed should your garden designer; scale and suitability should be assessed before any major purchase.

President and Mrs Higgins study 'Tree of Life' by John Hogan

President and Mrs Higgins study ‘Tree of Life’ by John Hogan

For those of us who may not have the space, nor indeed the finances, to afford an investment piece, you may like to look back at an article I wrote on  Creating focal points in a Garden. 

If you’re in Ireland you can check out the link below:

Garden Sculpture at Bloom.

or indeed contact me if you have any questions or need assistance :

Email :




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