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Add some art to your garden

Becky Garber
Landscape Logic
Vail CO Colorado

Even from ancient times, as long as there has been art, it has lived as much outdoors as indoors.

Today, it’s quite trendy to bring art objects into our yards and play them off the landscape. Any one item–or an assortment –can enhance the mood of the landscape.

A simple wind chime brings a touch of whimsy to a yard. Bronze herons placed next to a meandering water feature remind us of birds landing beside a mountain stream. A particular shape in a Zen garden adds to its serenity. Art simply works alongside the plants to enhance the enjoyment of our outdoor environments.



Many styles of art qualify for the outdoors:

· Architectural elements can be as simple as part of old metal fence or as elaborate as an imported Asian gate. The shape, color and material add interest among plants.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



· Art that serves a dual purpose – some artwork can become a trellis for plant vines or as a habitat for birds. Its interest and appeal is partly what it looks like and partly what it does.

· Sustainable art is a new trend in outdoor art. Objects are made from twigs that are recycled from pruning debris. With time, this art disintegrates and goes back to nature. Sometimes it also serves a dual purpose as a habitat for birds or other wildlife.

· Art for its own sake. These objects are meant to be enjoyed in their own right and can include artwork made from bronze, marble, steel, copper, wood, concrete, stone and any material that can be placed outdoors.



Know maintenance needs

Before committing to any piece of outdoor art, know its composition and possible maintenance requirements.

· Placement. Depending on its composition, consider placing art where it has some protection and where it will not be covered up by plant materials as they grow larger over time.

· For long-term life, select pieces that are weather-resistant and need little maintenance. Bronze and marble are very durable and only need occasional cleaning or polishing.

· Wooden art may need a hardy paint or finish to give it a long life outdoors.

· Metals. Steel is typically left to rust; copper is allowed to develop an aged patina.

· Decomposing materials. Some art is made of materials that are intended to go back to nature. Recognize that when you buy a twig bird habitat, for example. Sustainable art is meant to be recycled back into nature, so enjoy it for what it does and as long as it lasts.

· Sprinklers. Pay attention to the sprinkler system. No matter what the material, water should never be aimed directly at artwork.

Becky Garber is member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970- 409-8945.


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