It's becoming increasingly popular to place art objects in our yards and use them to create a focal point or to add special ambiance to outdoor environments. Many landscape designers create gardens just to hold and showcase a treasured art form. At other times, designers work with local artists to commission pieces that will complement a particular outdoor space.
Whether you begin with the garden and find the art to go in it or place the art outdoors and build a garden around it, there are some basic principles to consider when placing works of art in the landscape. Here are some suggestions to make your art display successful:
• When looking for outdoor art, take the sustainable path to local artists and galleries first.
• Depending on the material, consider placing art where it has some protection from the elements and where it will not be obscured by plant materials as they grow larger over time.
• Can you see it from inside your home? Extend enjoyment of your piece to four seasons and consider how it will look against a backdrop of fall leaves or brushed in a layer of snow.
• Also consider maintenance operations that go on in your yard. Place art where it's less susceptible to damage and won't obstruct mowing or other maintenance tasks.
• For long-term life, select pieces that are weather-resistant and need little maintenance. Bronze and marble are very durable and only need occasional cleaning or polishing.
• Wooden art may need a hardy paint or finish to give it a long life outdoors.
• Steel is typically left to rust; copper is allowed to develop an aged patina.
• Some art is made of materials that are intended to go back to nature. Keep that in mind when you buy a twig bird habitat, for example. Some sustainable art created from natural materials is meant to decompose and go back into nature. So enjoy it for what it does and as long as it lasts.
• Pay attention to the sprinkler system. No matter what the material, water should never be aimed directly at works of art.
• Work with a designer or your landscape service company to ensure that you have the right fit both for your artwork and the other elements of the landscape.
Information courtesy Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, sponsors of the 9News Water Wise Garden and the 9News Kitchen Garden. www.alcc.com
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)