All the plants popping up have me wanting to get out and accessorize the garden. But, accessorizing comes a little later, in my gardening opinion, though now is a great time to see the bones of the garden space, and thus, a great time to look for places for garden sculpture … garden anchors.
I’m a big fan of funky, junky pieces in the garden space. They create a sense of the unexpected, and their often dilapidated states, lend themselves to a natural setting. Also, they can usually be found for a song, with some cleverness.
Almost any patina finish will do, and with that said, I think that is the secret to making junk garden sculpture work in the landscape. Go for a single color in tone or finish. All rust is great, as well as other mottled metal finishes. You can also make almost any strange piece work by painting it all black.
A few other pointers to make funky junk work in the garden:
- Surrounding plants must be in their prime. If junk sculpture is perched amongst waning foliage, it all just looks like a garden graveyard.
- Make the pieces secure. Set junk pieces in Quickcrete or secure with rebar or other supporting structures to make them look permanent.
- Give it a backdrop. Any piece that is placed against a fence, wall, or hedge will look in place. It helps the eye make sense of the vista. Surround a piece in the middle of a bed with a field (or pool) of the same flowers.
People often ask me where to get fun pieces for the garden. First I tell them, make friends with a farmer. Old farmsites are filled with cool cast-offs. Check out thrift stores, antique shops, garage sales, auctions, as well as dumpsters, and alleys for other’s trash. But don’t overlook what you may already have in your garage or basement. Anything with an interesting shape or form can find a home in the garden … and be dramatic.