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July, 2018

Art in the garden

We recently visited the Henry Moore Studios & Gardens in Perry Green, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire. As well as being a grand day out it's also a source of inspiration in displaying sculpture in the garden. Art in the garden, as in the home, is highly personal. The abstract shapes of Henry Moore's sculptures may not be for you but it's well worth thinking about where you might be able to introduce a piece of statuary to act as a focal point by day - and by night too with some simple lighting. Garden art can be anything you want it to be: from a birdbath as pictured below, to monoliths, urns, statues and sundials. There's all manner of objects you could use to add an individual touch to your garden so look beyond the standard stock at the local garden centres and let your imagination run wild!

There are various things to consider when choosing your objet d'art. First up has to be the style of art: formal or abstract? traditional or modern? If you have a very contemporary outdoor space then something that chimes well with the modern will be more at home than a traditional piece and vice versa. Also consider its size and scale: too small and it will have little impact, too large and it could be overly dominant in the scheme (unless of course you have rolling acres in which case the sky's the limit!). Also, think about the material it is made of: do you want something tactile that encourages touch, or something colourful that provokes a more emotional response. Consider where it will be positioned: do you want it to line up with a preferred sight line from the house, or tucked away where you come upon it by surprise? Last but not least, what will it be positioned on: choose an appropriate style of plinth that will display your garden art to its full potential. Above all, choose something you love.

Whatever size garden you have a piece of garden art will add an individual touch so choose something you're going to enjoy looking at. And so to plants - it is a garden after all. It all depends on the effect you want to create but planting around a statue or artwork can be very effective. It's worth bearing in mind the ultimate height of the plants you are using so they don't end up obscuring your centrepiece! As well as growth habit, its important to know when they reach their peak and that they will complement your artwork. If you're interested, the exhibition 'Out of the Block' is a collection of major works in stone and wood made by Henry Moore over six decades will be on show until 28th October at his garden in Much Hadham.