Garden sculptures can be factory-made of stone and wood to order. And you can make small garden sculptures from available materials, which are in large numbers on any site.
This material presents various small garden sculptures and other elements of the landscape design of the site. The garden sculpture in the photo presented on this page has all the features of a work of art.
Small Architectural Forms for the Garden
Small architectural forms for the garden were used to decorate the territory of Ancient Rome. In villas, private country residences of emperors and wealthy patricians, where they rested from important government affairs, the beauty of nature was combined with the perfect creations of human hands. It is this wonderful combination of natural landscape with architectural buildings, landscape gardening sculpture, ponds and man-made corners of nature that made the classic Italian gardens a masterpiece.
Life sculpture is an integral part of regular parks of the past, it was used in gardens and landscape design parks. With its help, they often asked a certain topic to the whole garden as a whole or to some part of it. The sculpture in the park told about ancient heroes, called to follow some virtues, perpetuated military victories.
I must say that not only classical sculpture is good in the formal garden, but the abstract figure on the pedestal also looks quite worthy and modern.
In modern European gardens, the sculpture looks relevant, it begins to penetrate into Russian gardens, making them original and elegant. Combining a work of art and a garden is not easy, it is also art. The sculpture should look organically, it can be the main visual accent in the garden, be decent in size and make a strong impression, more often its size is modest, it occupies a secondary position, although it certainly is in harmony with the garden environment. The sculpture should not only give pleasure in itself as a work of art, but it is also more important to correctly enter it into the garden, enhancing the aesthetic impression of the plant composition.
The great stylistic variety of sculpture – from classical statues to abstract compositions.
Decorative Garden Figures and Statues for the Garden
Such garden statues are good not only in classical landscapes. In the modern world, decorative statues for the garden are located among the plantings, a female figure, half-hidden by greenery in a secluded shady corner, looks very romantic.
Human figures made of natural stone are suitable for a large garden. For small gardens, it is better to choose a smaller sculpture. Many owners like to decorate gardens with little angels with wings, the so-called putti (in Italian putti – baby), this is a favorite decorative motif of the Renaissance.
The bared graceful figure of the bather will perfectly fit into a small body of water, where she will look natural.
Pairwise arranged sculptures, including balls or flowerpots, can be used as a frame for paths, stairs, and entrances, making them especially expressive.
An arch or trellis entwined with roses is the most suitable frame for a statue of a child or an angel. Roses and sculptures look perfect together.
In shaded places, sculptures made of light material are good, as if illuminating these parts of the garden.
The sculpture in the opening behind the pergola, installed so that the central axis of the pergola ends on a stone sculpture, looks appropriate.
Fragments of old sculptural decorations, fragments of columns, pieces of cornices and column capitals look curious in the garden. It is better to place such figures for the garden on the lawn or on paving so that a shadow from the foliage falls on them, giving them the mystery of the Pushcha.
Sundial in the Garden at the Cottage
A sundial in the garden on a pedestal placed in the center of the garden invariably attracts attention. The sundial at the dacha is a column, on the upper part of which a bronze plate with a gnomon is fixed (this is a rod that casts a shadow on the scale), or a complex structure with armillary spheres that shows not only time but also the location of the planets.
Classical garden vases logically fit into plant compositions or are placed at the intersection of paved paths. They are of interest as garden elements in themselves, even without plants planted in them. They are made of natural stone, sometimes made of concrete, covered with stone chips, zinc, bronze, cast iron. Containers and flowerpots are placed along the stairs, near the doors, at the end of the alley, along the perimeter of the terrace, they are often placed on pedestals. Their color can be natural, characteristic of the material from which they are made, if you want to color them, choose neutral tones, such as gray, blue-gray or dark bronze-green.
Animal Sculptures for the Garden
The main rule when choosing animal sculptures for the garden is the originality of the artistic embodiment, the overly realistic image of the animal does not always look interesting, this is best avoided. Today, sculpture penetrates all corners of the garden and decorates not only its front part. Miniature animals and birds are placed on lawns, flower beds, near ponds and inside the patio, taking into account their natural characteristics: frogs, storks, and ducks are good at a pond and stream, rabbits and lambs are in the grass, a cat is on a ledge of a wall or on retaining wall. Sculptures help in emphasizing. They control the movement of the eye, they are used to highlight the key points of the composition, the formation of the rhythm of the landscape.
In a modern small garden, the sculpture is most often not the dominant of the garden, but just a pleasant surprise, it is hidden among the plants and opens only to the attentive eye.
Abstract sculpture does not depict anything concrete, representing a composition of lines, geometric shapes, and volumes, it embodies some idea or fantasy of the artist in the material. Many people like these kinds of works, some consider them more of an art than anything else.
Sometimes sculptural images become the ideological basis of the garden, they themselves are of artistic value, and plants and landscape compositions are just a complement to them. Such gardens are called sculpture gardens.
Conceptuality is a distinctive feature of avant-garde gardens, undoubtedly determining the nature of sculptural forms. Such sculptures can have different sizes: be very small, up to 50 cm high, or giant. A sculpture of different heights must be viewed from different distances: it is better to contemplate a work 1 m high, moving away 2–3 m, and height 2.5 m –– already 6–10 m. Perception also depends on the color of the surface – the lighter it is, the more the distance from which you can see its details and surface texture. The glossy surface of the figures gives the impression of coldness, detachment from the viewer, matte, rough surfaces look calmer and friendlier.
A tastefully selected and correctly placed garden decoration can completely transform the banal corner of the garden. Abstract sculpture may well occupy a subordinate position with respect to vegetation, be a nice accessory in the garden.
Sculptures for Styling a Particular Direction
In the Japanese-style garden, along with stones, water, conifers, and deciduous plants, sculptures for styling this or that direction, as well as architectural elements – pagodas, lanterns, Tsukuba, bridges, hedges, benches, tea houses, arbors are of great importance. Together with plants, they create a harmonious ensemble, giving the garden an atmosphere of tranquility and subtle beauty.
Stone lanterns are perhaps the most popular element of the Russian garden in the Japanese style. Initially, they were ritual objects and were located near the Buddha statue, symbolizing the light of his teachings, then they began to be placed at the entrance to the temple and along the edges of the paths leading to the temple. The design of lamps usually consists of six separate elements: supports for a lamp, support, supports of the light chamber, actually the camera, roof and top. Now the lanterns have become perhaps the most recognizable attribute of the Japanese garden, for those not initiated into the secrets of this garden, in the usual Russian “non-Japanese” garden they are just a decorative element that gives individuality to its corners.
Time honed the forms of Japanese lanterns, turning them into their original sculpture, organically blending into garden compositions. If an ordinary candle is lit in them in the evening or at night, an oscillating light will break through the patterned slots of the lamp, illuminating the surrounding plants and stones. If the stone lamp is illuminated with side, bottom or backlight, this will emphasize its relief and geometry or create a soft halo of glow around the lamp, and we will get a completely different effect.
The pagodas, which in traditional Japanese gardens were not so much aesthetic as sacred, looked interesting too, they were placed only where strict rules prescribed, their shape and number of tiers were strictly regulated. It is unlikely that you will start arranging an authentic Japanese garden with a pagoda, it is not only a complicated art but also a philosophy, you need to dive deep into it, but no one can forbid you to make some abstract composition of stones, inspired by the memories of what you saw traveling in Japan or just looking at illustrations for an article about classic Japanese gardens.
Natural Stone Sculptures
A sculpture made of natural stone is not only images of people and animals, but it is also an interesting form of stone on a pedestal, unusual driftwood, cubes and balls made of various materials that serve as a decoration of the garden. Driftwood and parts of tree trunks can look unusually spectacular, their shapes are bizarre, they look harmonious in a plant environment. Especially good are those taken from the seashore, polished with saltwater and dried by the winds, which is probably why driftwood is so good in gardens on the shores of the Gulf of Finland and in the Baltic, but you can find something suitable in the forest near Moscow.
Stones are as much a full-fledged element of the landscape as plants, they can serve as backstage and place accents. Natural stone with a stunning surface pattern in combination with two or three of the same makes up an effective group for the design of plant compositions.
The spherical shape catches the eye. Stone balls enhance the impression of a group of plants, their correct geometry contrasts with arbitrary plant forms. Balls can also be made not only of stone but also of wood and concrete, as well as twisted from cut lashes of girl’s grapes or hops, shoots of clematis. They are used not only as accents in the compositions but also to create a certain rhythm, frame the landscape, bench or entrance.
Wooden Sculptures for the Garden
Wooden sculptures for the garden are carved from a solid tree trunk, weaved from branches, collected from knots. In various areas of the garden, products of different nature and mood are appropriate. At the entrance to the forest part of the garden, you can put knotty sculptures for the garden, reminiscent of a forest animal or a fairy-tale character. A playground is a suitable place for figures of animals and heroes of fairy tales. A decorative garden can be decorated, for example, with a large pumpkin or pet figures.
Furniture as a sculpture. Creative-minded natures sometimes make a garden sculpture out of the simplest and most mundane things. They take, for example, a skeleton from a chair, instead of a seat they arrange a flower bed and install it in a suitable place in the garden – it turns out quite nicely. A similar idea is embodied in a rather rusty set of a table decorated with a composition of containers with youngsters, and two chairs. If the rest of the garden is beautiful and well-groomed, then such a neglected “sculpture” will only decorate it.
Author’s specimens made of a single piece of wood are always impressive, for example, a sculpture representing a palm, bent in a certain way so that a garden chair is obtained.
Wells like a sculpture. Original sculpture in the garden may look like a well. Two options are possible here.
In the first embodiment, they take a well and make it a kind of a house with a roof of varying degrees of intricacy, the main thing is that according to the style and materials of the sidewalls and roof it corresponds to the house on the site.
The second option, when it is not attached to a real well with water, but simply depicts it. It is good to support such a sculpture with a rocker, some other well accessories, and other wooden sculptures. If this is done by a real artist, then it looks great.
Natural Materials for Making Sculptures
The materials for the manufacture of sculptures were stone (marble and granite) and metal (bronze and copper). Now the sculpture is not only made from traditional materials, along with stone and bronze, but wood, concrete, wire, glass and even plastic are also used. Sculptures made of natural material organically fit into any landscape and are resistant to a negative factor of external influence. The following are materials of sculptures that are available for each owner of a suburban area.
A rock. The sculptures made of granite, sandstone, quartz, limestone are perfectly adapted to dwell in the open-air garden all year round: they are not afraid of either frost or moisture. Natural stone sculptures are expensive.
If you want the sculpture to seem like a thing with history, use soft stones such as limestone, which is quickly covered with moss and lichen, you can even speed up this process by specially coating the stone with natural yogurt or kefir or liquid organic fertilizer.
If such an overgrown sculpture does not seem attractive to you, the surface of the stone should be treated with special chemical compounds.
The natural stone used to decorate the gardens is itself a decorative element, it is pleasing to the eye, and with its help, you can achieve amazing results. Natural stone columns are often used as supports for works of art.
You can diversify and decorate the garden space using not only classical sculpture in the garden design but also various accessories – fountains, vases, columns. Most respectable they look if made of stone.
Wood. A garden sculpture made of wood is good in a personal garden made in a rustic style. It is suitable for both nature garden and landscape style. Figures can be of different sizes – from large to miniature. Garden carvings should be combined with other wooden elements of the garden, such as a gazebo or pergola.
Wooden sculpture is pleasing to man. Sometimes its surface is painted, if the plot and environment require it, more often they leave a natural shade, treating the wood with a protective composition. The most bizarre images can be embodied in a tree, wood will bring them as close as possible to nature, the fabulous sculptural characters look very organic. Forest spirits standing in the shady corners of your garden, stylized animals, abstract compositions – especially such wooden sculptures are successful for Baltic masters.
Wooden figures are treated with antiseptics immediately after manufacture, then the coating is updated every 1-2 years. Sometimes they are also painted or tinted depending on what effect they want to receive: transparent tinting reveals the texture of the tree, paints hide it.
Glass and ceramics. The choice of material for the sculpture depends not only on external conditions (any material must be resistant to rain and frost), but also on the size of the figure. For small sculptures with a large number of small details, you can choose ceramics and fireclay.
Often the material from which the sculpture is made determines its location. So, glasswork is best placed away from the playground, even if the glass is durable.
Metal. Forged sculptures can be plants, for example, stems with fantastic flowers. In the technique of forged copper create birds and animals. Fluttering pigeons, deer, graceful antelopes not only decorate the garden but also merge with it into a single whole. Artists create not only animal figures, but also sculptures of philosophical orientation. Sometimes they are made from industrial waste, such as bent sheets, strips, wire, talented artists get original things that look good in the garden.
How to Place Sculptures for the Garden from Improvised Materials
If you decide to decorate your garden with a sculpture of improvised materials, it’s nice to know some rules for its placement. The following describes how to place sculptures from improvised materials on your site. Tips are given and photos of sculptures for the garden are given on examples of their use.
The first and main thing is the observance of proportions. Large sculptures are suitable for a large garden, but this does not mean that the sculptures in the small garden should be small, we decorate the garden, not the dollhouse. Room decorations are not suitable for the garden, here they are simply lost, the scale in the garden is larger.
The original garden sculpture, selected with taste and well placed, gives a decent view to the garden of the most modest square. It is important to choose the right scale – the sculptures should not be too small, then they simply will not be noticed, they should not be too large, so as not to suppress what is nearby.
Large objects themselves will catch the eye. To draw attention to small but interesting things, place them on pedestals or columns. The use of garden sculpture in a modern private garden should be balanced. The main thing is not to forget about a sense of proportion. Every detail of a small space should be appropriate and fit its scale. Garden sculpture should look logical next to trees and shrubs, paths and platforms, garden buildings and water features. Not only the choice of the sculpture is important, but also the place of its installation, you need not only to decorate the garden but to emphasize and even enhance the effect of the plant or water composition.
It is better to place accessories in the garden so that from one point only one decoration element is visible, without distracting attention from another. It will be a pity if carefully selected jewelry is lost in the mass. Sculptures should be used sparingly, most often in a small garden one is enough, but if there are several, arrange them separately. Excess sculptures can ruin the impression of the garden. The sculptures should fit into the garden, it’s a pity when funds are spent on kitsch, one correctly placed sculpture will create a greater effect than many small ones. Accessories should draw attention to the most advantageous corners of the garden. Simple jewelry often makes a better impression.
Sculptures can be used as focal points in the garden or to create balance when a certain figure, female or childish, standing, sitting or lying, balances the mass of plants on the other side of the garden.
Placed at the beginning of the track, the figures, as it were, invite you to walk along with it.
Before you install a sculptural image, think about its relevance in this place, and if you have even the slightest doubt, abandon this idea, ridiculous or overly elaborate sculptural decorations discredit the garden.
Several sculptures can set the theme of the garden, divide it into zones or, conversely, assemble it into a single whole.
When placing a sculpture, play with shadows and spots of light. In the midst of planting, there are always parts of space that are free of foliage. Depending on the location of the sun, its rays penetrate through these “windows” and place one or the other accents – a sunspot slowly creeps through the garden. If the light falls on the sculpture – it will shine, then it will shift – and the statue will hide in the shadow.
A romantic sculpture of lovers is placed in a secluded corner of the garden, inaccessible to the prying eye, it will be a pleasant discovery for a person walking in the garden.
The sculpture will be successfully located at the end of the alley, whereas you approach it, details more clearly appear. Hidden in the thicket, she will appear to her eyes suddenly. If the sculpture is installed near the reservoir or in its depth, it is important to consider its reflection.
Like the landscape, the sculpture changes depending on the time of day, on whether it is raining or the sun is shining, the impression of it also depends on the season, since the plant environment changes, against which it looks, the viewer examines it from different points and from different distances.