Art in the Garden


I was visiting local artist Patrick Gracewood at his studio/home/garden. In addition to being a wonderfully talented sculptor and artist, he is an avid gardener that takes great care when placing art in his garden (see photo of The Little Monk on pedestal perfectly placed before the columnar conifer). That got me to thinking about the art in my garden and the art I’ve seen in the gardens of so many others.

My garden art purchases are generally impulsive and placement is intuitive rather than a carefully thought-out decision. Subconsciously, however, I must understand the interplay between the created art and the color, form and texture of my garden because, once placed, it usually stays put (I’m hoping that isn’t just a sign of laziness).

I mix my artful metaphors, in that I have a flurry of whimsical garden blossoms (seven, to be exact) made from recycled saucers and glass and placed in a shade garden so I have color year round. And a steel sculpture touting my soul’s mantra (peace), which was given to me as a very special gift; it resides in the sunniest spot in my ornamental beds. I also have the universal rusted steel signs shouting dream, joy, and inspire as well as ceramic orbs—circles are a reappearing theme in my garden—marking entry points in the garden. And then there’s the concrete and resin pieces scattered about…and the list goes on and on.

Art can be as simple as painted boulders anchoring a planting or space (a la Michael Schultz, a Portland-based landscape architect) or as complex as a grand statue at the end of an allee or reflecting pool (think Versailles).

I’ve often said that I’d spend my last dollar on plants and art—but then a friend reminded me that I’d have to feed Barney, my adorable golden retriever…and I would put food in his dish first.

I hope you enjoy this montage of garden art from the many garden tours I’ve been on (regrettably, I don’t always remember where I took the pictures…they are attributed where I do remember). Thank you to those that open your gardens to the rest of us so we can enjoy what you’ve created!