These garden art ideas are easy to do and will give you some inspiration for using garden decor and yard art to add interest to your outdoor space.
I was recently looking through some pictures of a garden tour I took at Allerton Gardens on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
It is a huge garden that is absolutely stunning! (If you’re ever in Kauai, it’s worth the tour price to see this garden…click here to get more information.)
One of the things that makes it so interesting is their use of garden art.
It is everywhere!
It made me realize that even the best gardens can be made a little better by adding some garden decor.
Even though Allerton Gardens is in a completely different climate and is on a totally different scale than most of our gardens, it is a great place to get some inspiration.
And then scale it down to a city-sized yard.
Keep reading to find out the garden art ideas I have learned from this garden (and others).
1 | Create A Focal Point
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Installing a large statue in your garden adds an obvious focal point (“large” being the main idea!).
Just like interior decorating, having a focal point in your garden directs your attention to the areas you want to showcase.
Allerton Gardens in Kauai is a very big garden but this statue still commands your attention.
Placing it in front of a pond allows it to be reflected in the water surface as well.
Even if you don’t have a large yard, you can still incorporate a statue or two.
Just make sure the statue is big enough. Smaller ones will get lost among the flowers.
My mother also installed a blue fence behind her favorite garden decor. The bright color makes sure that you don’t miss it!
You can add height to a shorter statue that you absolutely love by standing it on a plinth*.
Incorporate a statue in the middle of the garden to add an element of surprise.
If traditional sculptures aren’t your style, a modern metal sculpture may be right up your alley.
2 | Provide a Zen Feeling
Adding a Buddha statue to your garden is sure to provide a zen feeling.
Placing it in front of some bamboo (as they did at Allerton Gardens in Kauai) makes it feel even more relaxing.
Just make sure to plant the bamboo in containers or use clumping bamboo so you don’t have to worry about it taking over.
Even if your yard isn’t that big and you don’t have any bamboo, nestling a Buddha statue among the plants seems to fit right in.
3 | Mimic Nature
At Allerton Gardens in Kauai, animal statues look as if they were coming out of the woods…like they would be in nature.
You can do the same thing in your garden by using metal animal outdoor decor.
Whether you go for a pelican or a bug, try to position them somewhere that looks natural.
And once again, make sure your nature-inspired art is big enough to be noticed, like these metal garden cranes*.
4 | Install A Water Feature
Water and the garden go together hand in hand.
Which is why I think adding an artful water feature to your garden always works! (Not to mention it creates a natural looking place to put those garden cranes.)
You can install one permanently (like this architectural waterfall at Allerton Gardens in Kauai).
Or just hang a fountain on a fence. Adding landscape lighting makes sure that you can still see it at night.
Either way will add some interest to your garden.
5 | Generate Movement
Installing yard art that rotates or moves in the wind adds an extra dimension into your garden.
As with sculptures, make sure that your wind sculpture is large enough to be seen.
Copper wind sculptures* like the one above will age over time and add an “always been there” look to your garden.
6 | Add Whimsical Garden Art
Adding some whimsical art to your garden will make you smile every time you see it.
This teapot in the garden is a perfect example.
7 | Make Some Sound
A wind chime in your garden will create a beautiful relaxing sound and look good at the same time.
Creating a screen to showcase it will make sure that everyone notices it!
While a traditional wind chime is pretty, you can also find some really unique designs that will make your garden more interesting.
8 | Hang a Bird House
Hanging a bird house or two not only encourages birds to visit your garden, they also look pretty.
You can go for a simple version that just requires a tree branch and a hook to get it installed.Or go for a more elaborate design (like this purple martin house*) that needs to be assembled and installed on a pole.
Either one will provide some interest to your garden.
9 | Add A Sphere
Spheres are a really easy way to add some interest to your garden. The round shape fits right in with any type of outdoor space…whether it’s adding curves to a hard structure like a deck or providing a reflecting surface and color to a yard.
You can choose to display them on columns to add some height.
Or create a collection of them on the ground.
10 | Hang Garden Wall Art
Hanging wall art isn’t just for inside your home.
If you have a fence or wall in your garden, try hanging metal wall art or even a mirror to brighten up a flat surface. This piece is made out of recycled oil drums, so it is pretty and eco-friendly.
11 | Take Indoor Accessories Out
Another creative garden art idea is to take some of your indoor accessories out to your garden.
Vases, garden seats and other ceramic pieces make beautiful additions to your deck, patio or yard.
You can even hang up inexpensive pictures.
They will fade so I don’t put up anything that costs too much, but it definitely helps to break up large expanses of wall space.
12 | Make and Hang A Rain Chain
Rain chains are a combination of functionality and garden decor.
They help to direct water away from your house and look beautiful doing it.
Hopefully you have found some inspiration to add some art to your own garden.
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This post was originally published on November 3, 2016 but was updated with new content on February 13, 2024.