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Northeast Regional Reports

Art in the Garden

Add personality and balance to any planting with the perfect creative accents

This garden in Provincetown, Massachusetts, takes a maximalist approach to garden art. The statues and human forms give a sense of unity to an otherwise chaotic display. Photo: Kristin Green

Even if you don’t identify as an artist, your garden is a form of art through your self-expression. Consider that each of us draws from a common regional palette of plants but situates them in idiosyncratic combinations. We create vignettes that are like paintings that change by the minute and day. And we add utilitarian, sentimental, and purely decorative objects that personalize our outdoor spaces and impact our gardens’ designs by providing focal points and contrast. No two gardens are alike.

mosaic garden sculptures
A pair of mosaic sculptures adds color and personality to a shady planting even when nothing’s blooming. Photo: Jennifer Benner

When it comes to garden art, convention tells us a little goes a long way. The solid structures in our gardens—our houses, outbuildings, stone walls, fences, and pathways—all act as foils for the wild exuberance of plants, providing contrast and scale. Every container, tuteur, birdbath, bench, gnome,…

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