Six things to consider when buying a garden sculpture

Choosing the right sculpture for your garden can be a difficult decision. After all, you want it to be eye-catching and reflect your tastes, but you also don’t want it to make your garden feel cramped or cluttered.

With this in mind, there are many things to consider before you head down to the garden centre. Size, style and position are all key, but what else should you think about when it comes to buying a sculpture for your garden? Let’s take a look.

  1. Type of sculpture.

The definition of a ‘sculpture’ is a “solid object that represents a thing, person, idea, etc. made out of a material such as wood, clay, metal, or stone”. Whether it be a garden statue, 3D mural or more contemporary metal sculpture, it’s important to think about the type of sculpture you would like to add to your garden. This, however, will depend somewhat on the style you are looking to feature in your garden, which we will talk about next.

  1. Garden style.

Your garden’s overarching style will help decide which types of sculptures work and don’t work. For example, if you are aiming to have a garden which has more of a zen feel to it, a wooden buddha statue would complement it much better than a contemporary metal sculpture. Likewise, gardens aiming for more of a shabby chic style would be better suited to more traditional clay-based statues or water features, such as these.

Whatever style you choose to use, make sure that the sculptures you buy are truly your favourite. Don’t just follow the latest trends – think about what kind of garden you want to have and pick your style to suit exactly that.

Source: Andy Sturgeon


“The size of the garden sculpture should reflect the size of the garden itself. For example, in this image, a large contemporary garden sculpture works due to the garden’s large size and minimalistic design.”


The size of the sculpture you choose will really depend on one of two things: first, how big is your garden space? And second, how striking do you want it to be? Larger sculptures tend to act as more of a focal point, drawing your eye to a particular area, whereas smaller sculptures tend to bring you closer into the garden.

As an example, large stone lanterns can really add to the feel of a zen style garden. However, they can take up a lot of room, so could make gardens seem smaller than they actually are. Smaller sculptures could therefore be a better choice but, in order to get the most out of them, you’ll need to think about their…

While the size of a sculpture is obviously an important thing to consider, its location in the garden is equally as important. You wouldn’t want a large garden sculpture being hidden behind a load of plants – you’d want it front and centre, as the first thing somebody sees when entering your garden.

Smaller sculptures need to be placed similarly effectively. As they aren’t as big, the eye is less likely to be drawn to them straight away, so it’s up to you to make sure they’re seen.

For example, if your garden has a pond, try embedding a small metal sculpture in its surrounding rocks and foliage. Or alternatively, position a number of smaller animal ornaments nearby, to give it more of a natural, countryside feel.

Source: Decoist

“This metal sculpture of a heron taking off really adds to the look and feel of the garden.”

The material that your garden sculpture is made of makes a big difference. Not only will it affect the overall style you are going for, but it will also impact how long the sculpture lasts for. From wood and clay to fibreglass and metal, sculptures come in a variety of different options to suit the colour and look of a garden. Think about what you are trying to gain from your sculpture – if you want something more durable then metal will be a better choice over limestone or concrete options.

  1. Surrounding plants.

The plants you choose to surround your sculpture with will make a big difference to how it looks in your garden. You should choose plants which compliment the colours used in the sculpture, or contrast with them. They should not be overwhelming, and should not obscure the sculpture from view.

Plants should also be chosen with the seasons in mind. Ask yourself: when are the plants likely to flower? Do they offer foliage all year long, or only at certain times? What impact will their flowering have on the overall look of the sculpture and the garden on the whole? Knowing the answers to these questions will make sure your sculpture comes across exactly the way you intended all year round.

In summary…

Garden sculptures can make or break the look and feel of a garden. Their size, style, location and surrounding environment are all vital considerations to take into account when making your decision. It’s not as easy as simply picking your favourite looking sculpture from the garden centre.

The last thing you want to do is end up with a garden that just doesn’t look quite right. Make sure you don’t cross styles or oversaturate your garden with sculptures. Follow our advice, and we can pretty much guarantee that whichever sculpture you choose will look great.

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