Thursday, August 4, 2011

Garden Ideas Complete Me...

As I look around my blooming garden I am transported to another world, it is my place of joy, my oasis. Luscious, colorful, green and diverse, and sprinkled all around are my favorite pieces of garden art.
Garden art can be created in many ways, all of which can contribute to that ‘finishing touch’ of your garden’s big picture. I know it sounds simple, but my garden art…the fountains, the stone dogs, the antique bench and the blue bird house are placed thoughtfully in my garden, and all delight me in different ways when I gaze upon them.
As long-time gardeners, Larry and I also have many flowering perennials, interesting pots, and window baskets filled with colorful annuals. Bringing art into our garden is a perfect way to adorn and personalize our outdoor space and makes it feel like the garden is finished (although I know it never really is).
Since I am a dog lover (yes, I have three), I have picked several entertaining dog sculptures, which make me smile. The bird bath and blue bird house mounted to an old Oak tree attract blue birds, which are intriguing to watch! Years ago I bought an antique bench, which now resides peacefully under a Japanese Maple. The rich toned, beautiful Italian Impruneta pottery that comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes creates a European tone…I sometimes feel like I’m sitting at an Italian piazza when I drink my morning coffee!
Whether you buy something that catches your eye or commission a special ‘signature’ piece, it usually ends up working, because you like it!  I never look for ‘just anything’ to fill a space, I seek out pieces and materials that reflect my interests and personality.
Copper is beautiful and makes striking garden art in the form of bird baths,  feeders and garden stakes and I love the patina it creates!  I also enjoy steel garden art because it can be painted, varnished or left in its natural state to age and rust. Many artists take old discarded steel - drums, nuts and bolts, bike and engine parts - and turn them into fascinating creations. Perhaps you like a more modern look?  Think about stainless steel, which can be used to create large modern, architectural pieces which reflect the light and stand the test of time.
Thankfully, garden art has moved far beyond the plastic pink flamingo and the garden gnome! So, whether your taste runs to the whimsical or formal, cast stone, recycled metal or classic copper, your choices are endless. The sky’s the limit when putting the finishing touches in your garden, so feel free to adorn your garden by following your instinct and then sit back and enjoy!
... Frances Grossman