Sculptures for elegant gardens

If you love sculptures and want to have a piece of this creative art in your garden, here is how to use them to give your garden an elegant and unique look.


BY Eric Kyama


Adding an ingenious sculptural piece in a home garden helps reinforce one’s personality. If this is done with extreme care, it can help give the garden a unique look. Below are some of the guidelines one can follow when including sculptures in the garden.

Usually, it is not advisable for one to limit themselves to already made sculptures when choosing the kind of sculpture to include in their garden. Objects around your home may at times be good for bringing together as sculptures. In some cases, Ethel Namono Crissy, a landscaper in Kampala, says these may look better than the already made sculptures.

Additionally, Namono also advises that one can think about beautifully shaped ceramic vases, rounded boulders, tidy greenery (topiary), wall art or even found objects. The appeal of a sculpture, she says, may in most cases largely depend on one’s emotional response to it. “If it means something to a person or their family, the more significant it can be.”
That aside, some sculptures may be suitable for particular garden style better than others.

A sleek and modern garden, for instance, may look better with abstract sculptures. A contemporary piece, on the other hand, is most suited for a wildflower garden thus providing a perfect setting. Similarly, Namono says, a classical statuary is likely to add an element of surprise in a modern rectilinear layout and also augment an urban space. In cottage gardens, figures of domestic animals, beehives or rustic farm equipment work well.

“When you have made up your mind the kind of sculpture to place in your garden, it is important that one takes time to find the right spot for it and integrate it into a design already in place,” says Josephine Nassiwa, an interior designer.

The idea, she adds, is to contrast the sculptural piece from its surrounding so that it stands out and give the garden a beautiful view. Distinctive, meek, solid shapes with delicate grass heads, for instance, or view them through a cloud of shrubs. “Complexly detailed sculptures look best with a plain setting, such as a plain wall or a clipped hedge. Some pieces are better off surrounded by reflective water or by plants in a margin.

Similarly surfaces like natural stone or weathered timber create perfect backgrounds for highly polished metal pieces,” says Nassiwa.

“A small piece of sculpture can be lost in a large open garden because of its lesser proportionality,” says Nassiwa. If brought into a friendly courtyard, she adds, and it is in perfect proportion to its surroundings, then chances of its visibility are slightly higher if not fully high.

She also says for a sculpture to look good, one should try introducing small ornaments by placing them next to a solid piecesuch as a boulder or an oversised vase.

“Alternatively, mount decorative objects and plaques or raise them closer to the eye level on a pedestal.

To measure the size of sculpture required for a site during planning, it is important that one uses placeholders such as plastic garbage cans or carton boxes to help visualise how the sculpture can fit into the proposed setting,” she says.

The maintenance of sculptures depends on the type. Joseph Seruyange, a landscaper, says clay sculptures require a lot of attention. The only thing one has to do, he says, is making sure they do not break.

“One can avoid sculptures made out of clay from breaking by making sure that they are placed in safe places and have a firm foundation wherever they have been placed in the garden,” says Sseruyange.

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