When people think about landscaping, they naturally most often think of lawns, gardens, patios, and decks. After all, those features are usually predominant and therefore attract a lot of notice.
Something that’s often overlooked but which can add a touch of character, elegance, and even color is artwork, specifically sculpture. When it comes to sculpture landscaping, you might be surprised at all the styles, features, and options available. You can go big or small, bold or subtle, and classic or contemporary. You also can make the sculpture a centerpiece or have it play more of a “supporting” role.
Let’s look at some of the things you’ll need to consider when deciding how to add sculpture landscaping to your property.
When you decorate a room inside your home, you select items that not only go together but also match the style or character of the home, right? For sculpture landscaping, the same applies.
For example, a Japanese-style garden would benefit from lanterns and Buddha statues, while an abstract sculpture would complement a home built in a contemporary style and a formal statue would look good with a traditional-style home. Are you a lover of nature? If so, you might want a sculpture with a wildlife theme, for instance.
So as you consider the style of the sculpture you’re going to incorporate, also look at things like existing color schemes, scale, and lines and geometric patterns or shapes. In this stage, you’re thinking about the purpose of the sculpture and how it will fit in with what’s already there.
Where exactly is the piece going to go? You certainly want to be mindful of this so that, first, it gets the attention it deserves, and, second, it doesn’t look out of place.
Another thing to consider with location is size. The larger the sculpture, the more it will serve as a focal point. However, it needs to fit with the space. A large sculpture in a small garden may dominate the scene and seem overwhelming. Conversely, a small piece in a large space might not be very noticeable or might just look out of place.
One other tip about size: sculptures tend to work best when they rise to eye level.
There are so many places you can locate a sculpture for a great effect. Listing all of them would be impossible, of course, but here are some pretty popular ones: flanking a gate or front entrance, as the centerpiece of a fountain or pool, drawing the eye across a natural sightline, and as a smaller piece blending in with a garden.
Now you’re going to want to decide what materials you want your sculptures to be. The most common and affordable sculptures are made from a type of concrete, and they’re widely available at garden centers and other locations. This product, called cultured stone, is versatile and can be made into many shapes and come in many colors; it can even look like natural stone.
Don’t let that limit you, though. You can also find sculptures made from marble (especially for Classical-style statues), corten steel (weathers quickly and develops a rust-colored patina that many like outdoors), glass, and wood. Wood sculptures tend to be more subtle since they blend more with the surroundings. Over time, as they age, they might fade and attract moss growth, which might be very pleasing if the sculpture’s purpose is to flow with nature.
Proper installation is critical. Sculptures can be really heavy– the largest can weigh hundreds of points– so you want them to be on a level base and difficult or impossible to move or tip over. That’s especially important if you have children who will be playing nearby, something you’re also going to think about with location.
If you buy your own sculpture and plan to install it yourself, make sure there are directions for correct installation. If you’ve commissioned the artwork or are working with a professional landscaper, ask if they do installation. The latter probably will.
The amount and type of maintenance required for your sculpture landscaping depends on what it’s made of, but most people do little or no maintenance, preferring to let their sculptures age naturally. Some exceptions might include sculptures in water features, which you probably want to keep clean and polished so they don’t look mossy or grimy.
Adding Plants and Other Features
You aren’t limited to making your sculpture work only with what’s already there. Adding a sculpture to a relatively mundane spot and then surrounding it with plants can add a splash of beauty, for example. Another enhancement many people like is lighting for pleasing nighttime effects.