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How To Choose And Place Garden Art In Your Outdoor Living Areas

Your backyard should relax and refresh you, but it should also delight you! Choosing garden art that reflects your personality and makes you feel good is an important key to creating the ultimate backyard outdoor living spaces.

Garden Art on a Budget

Art can mean many things to many people but basically there are 3 types when it comes to gardens, landscapes, and outdoor spaces:

formal, semi-formal, and informal garden art.

Formal Landscape Art

Think larger stately pieces that you see in more traditional backyards, like a classic sculpture of a Greek goddess or a stone angel.

Heavy iron garden ornaments like obelisks and sundials also work well with most backyard landscape designs. These pieces create an old-world feel and lend a sense of drama to the yard.

Others might include columns, carved fountains, birdbaths, and classical architectural salvage.

Semi-Formal Garden Art

This is the most popular type because it suits so many styles of backyards. It‘s more relaxed in theme, a little more nostalgic and decorative.

For example, light hearted sculptures of animals or children in concrete, resin or bronze, contemporary metal sculptures of flowers and insects, stained glass stepping stones, artistic birdhouses, and hand painted garden pots, copper wind chimes.

Upcycled garden art ladder with work boot planters

Informal Garden Decor

Whimsical Art for the Garden

I call this art “your imagination gone wild”.

Everyday objects are placed in the garden to create art that is fun, whimsical, and even campy.

I‘ve seen all kinds of items used as garden décor: old rubber boots planted with flowers, a nostalgic wire bedroom headboard , an antique window frame, an old-fashioned bathtub, a dressmaker’s dummy, and fancy china plates.

Remember that the type of art you choose should be in keeping with the feel of your backyard but it should also be an expression of you.

The most important thing is that you should feel some emotional attachment to your garden art.

fun and funky garden art face on fence

Tips for placing Garden Art

In the garden, art becomes a focal point. Your eye is naturally drawn to it and it commands your attention.

Where you place art pieces in your garden is important

Put your garden deco in these areas of your garden or yard.

  • In a boring, bare part of the yard to add interest and stimulate conversation
  • At the end of a path to add drama
  • In any area to add comic relief. I have a cute bronze frog lying on a back on a lily pad beside my waterfall and pond.
  • In front of an ugly spot to hide dead patch
  • Directly in line with an unwanted view of the neighbour’s yard to create privacy

pansy flowers planted in old work boots creative gardening ideas

  • On a wall or fence to visually break up the long monotonous line. I have a beautiful concrete painted face hanging on one part of my fence and a mirror hanging on another to add interest.
  • In front of a colourful burst of foliage to punctuate the space. My classical white bird bath looks gorgeous just in front of my huge pink rose bush
  • Hidden behind some greenery so it just peeks out a little to create a feeling of antiquity. This will put plants in the spotlight.
  • Within the frame of a beautiful view to enhance the view even more. My backyard is on the lake and the view is made even more beautiful by a large fountain of Poseidan the sea God that we have made part of the view.
  • In a rock garden to create feeling of garden gallery. The rocks are natural pedestals for the art and create a wonderful playground for eye to bounce around in and land on art.

Don’t forget about the view from inside. Take a look out your window to see where you might place art so that it draws you out into the backyard.

Finally, less is more. Too much garden art will make your backyard look junky. All you need is a few interesting pieces to personalize your backyard and give it a sense of place.

Deborah Boland © 2006 All Rights Reserved - used with Permission

About the Author: Deborah Boland is the host of the popular HGTV Canada TV series, Backyard Pleasures and author of Backyard Pleasures: 7 Simple Steps to Transform Your Ho-Hum Backyard into a Breathtaking Oasis. Source:

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