Embellishment > Outdoor Décor

Each spring we gardeners look forward to the changes and challenges that another season brings, carefully selecting new plants that suit soil and light conditions, and make our gardens even lovelier to look at. Another way of deepening the garden’s pleasures is to add some artwork. “

Placing artwork in the landscape lets us rediscover a reverence for place,” says art consultant June Lacombe, who helps clients site sculpture in a variety of outdoor spaces. “A well-chosen piece creates a focal point. It heightens our senses, enlivens a setting and invites us to more fully engage with our surroundings.”

Many New England artists create spectacular outdoor artwork from a wide range of natural materials. Sculptor Gary Haven Smith works with granite to craft pieces that range in height from one foot to ten feet. “As an artist, you breathe human expression into natural material, and it takes on a dimension that goes beyond its natural parts—it has a life force,” he says.

Metalworker Joy Raskin uses copper, brass and found objects to create sculpture— an old trombone is the basis of her piece Dreamcatcher . She also makes water fountains, a wonderful piece of any garden because of the added aural dimension. “I love the way the metals change as they weather—nature makes the patina,” she says.

Studio potter Teresa Taylor makes birdbaths, tiles, benches and tables from clay. “You use all the elements—earth, fire, water and air—when you work with clay. And the kiln adds a dimension of surprise because you never know how the glaze or final surface will look.”

Gardens are sanctuaries for plants, animals and people, and adding artwork enhances the contemplative nature of the space. A thoughtful, organic piece invites you in and provides a soulful place for your eye to rest.