What makes a garden unique, special, and stunning? Selectively choosing a statement piece. Adding a distinct feature to your outdoor space shares a piece of the gardener's personality and offers visual pleasure. Statement pieces are special and make an impact. Create a statement by introducing into your garden: fire and light, sculpture, a unique garden gate, wall art, bold umbrellas and rugs, or a mass planting of uniquely paired annuals. Take note that too many features make the landscape appear busy and messy. Choose wisely and place in strategic locations. Use them like a period or exclamation point at the end of a sentence. A sculpture at the end of a garden bed or near a door draws the eye and offers a hint of what to expect within the garden space. Statement pieces attract attention and allow the eye to pause and rest, so never place focal points near an eyesore like a gas meter, trash can, or A/C unit. Instead, place them for a strategic view from the house --like a kitchen window, near an outdoor seating area, close to a front door, or framed by an arbor. Have fun and experiment.
Fire and Light
Fire dances in the shadows of evening and warms the view as well as the space on a cool night. Fire pits don't have to look like a camp site. Unique lights and fire balls extend their function by not only serving as a daytime sculpture but accenting a dark space at night.
Sculpture placed on an empty wall or in a garden bed can be whimsical or artistic. This is an opportunity to put your personal stamp on your outdoor space. It can be a small surprise only discovered while walking on a garden path or something more bold like a decorative metal screen.
Garden gates mark the entrance to a garden space. They create a curiosity to explore what is beyond. Some gates are more transparent than others offering a brief glimpse into a garden. Others are opaque and give off the vibe of 'privacy only'. Most gates viewed from the front of the house compliment the architecture of the home, while gates within a back yard garden are more informal and whimsical.
Whether living or not, wall art visually anchors an outdoor entertainment area, fills a drab wall or fence, and can serve as a focal point.
Bold Umbrellas and Rugs
Umbrellas and statement rugs add color to an urban space that doesn't have much green space for plants. Umbrellas give visual privacy from onlookers who live uphill from your home or from apartment dwellers viewing down on your space. Umbrellas, of course, provide shade for your outdoor space and your planters and pots. If you have an old deck or plain concrete patio, add personality and define a space...especially for sprawling decks. Rugs can help carve out the dining space from a seating area.
Moving water serves many purposes in a garden. Splashing and bubbling adds white noise and buffers traffic and neighborhood sounds. The movement is relaxing and offers a place for the eye to rest. In the evening light dances on it's surface, adding interest to an evening landscape. Finally, sweet little birds might stop by for a refreshing drink or a cooling dip.
Choosing unique colors and mass planting in pots or garden beds will draw attention. It is a fun way to add a statement and to experiment seasonally with a variety of plants and colors. If you are the type of person who likes to spice up a space, this might be an inexpensive way to add fun and visual impact. Even if you don't have a lot of planting beds, unique pots and plants serve the same purpose.
Remember that incorporating one of these elements in your garden is enough to make a statement. Though it may be tempting, adding too many bold elements overwhelms the senses. A garden should offer respite.
"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace."
May Sarton, poet
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Gwen Wisniewski: Landscape and Garden Designer. Contact me. Let me help you integrate these garden inspirations. Choose the links below to find out more about my landscape design service or to make an appointment.