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The Garden Art Sweet Spot

Chris Webb Garden Sculpture

The last couple of years have seen an explosion of interest in garden art, and you might well be interested in curating a piece or two for your outdoor living space.

Whilst it is certainly true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, how do you know if what you are buying is garden art, or pure naff? And where on earth can you buy it?

In his recent Telegraph article on The Chelsea Flower Show, Ed Cumming highlights the extremes between the high-end, expensive garden art on display and the more budget friendly delights on offer. Armed with Ed’s observations I decided to do my own research during my inaugural visit to the show.

It would certainly appear that Chelsea is as much about the artefacts and garden products as it is about the flowers. The stands toward the Royal Hospital are at the epitome of the garden art world…with prices to match. It’s no surprise that the biggest gasps I heard all day were for these price tags rather than the flower displays in the Grand Pavilion.

Here’s a short video clip from Chelsea, discussing some of the statutory on display:

I was particularly impressed with the sculpture by fellow Westcountry man Chris Webb and would have one of these pieces in my garden in a heartbeat… if I had up to £20,000 to invest. During conversation I enquire whether any had found a new home. “A couple,” comes the poker faced response.

David Haber Sphere

David Harber – who wouldn’t want this?

At the other end of the garden art spectrum, the Artisan Gardens are the place to peruse Garden Art for the everyman. Or are they?

Whilst I admit that I didn’t inspect every stall or item on offer, there appeared to be a standardised offering of metal wire twisted into animal shapes, bronzed wall lizards, and various adornments on the general animal theme. A modern take on the garden gnome, perhaps? The hot item of the day was some kind of metal spiral wind spinner, judging by the amount of people I saw carrying one, like some kind of Gandalf from the Lord of The Rings movies.

Back home from Chelsea, I continue my search through the usual retail channels. Those online Goliaths Ebay and Amazon have the usual animal themed metal wall pieces, cheap sundials and similar objects at rock bottom prices. I suspect they were ordered en masse from China. Sure, you might get lucky and find an auction for a genuine, desirable piece but generally it’s tack of the highest order.

Large online garden retailers fair little better than your average bricks and mortar garden centre. Speaking of which, unless you live in a particularly affluent location or you are willing to travel, traditional garden centres are generally woeful for garden art and best avoided.

Where to Buy Garden Art?

Fortunately, there are some great places and resources out there to help you find that perfect piece of garden art. You’ll have to do your research and you may have to travel, but these are excellent places to start and should provide you with plenty of inspiration.

Affordable Art Fairs. These take place all around the country – check local media for anything happening in your area. Two of the best are the annual Affordable Garden Art Exhibition at Showborough House in Gloucestershire which takes place every May, and promises pieces from under £100 right up to £4,000. September in Manchester sees the Buy Art Fair, which has reported a growing demand for Garden Art.

Of course, you are more than welcome to explore our products! We specialize in hard to find garden ornaments and garden decorations.

So, there’s my little expose of the British Garden Art scene. Keep an eye out for future posts on the subject and I hope you are considering a piece of art for your own outdoor living spaces!

  1. Lorna said:

    I looked for a piece of garden wall art last year but couldn’t find anything I liked other than from USA which was prohibitive because of shipping costs. Your suggestions are very helpful as I hadn’t discovered any of them. It’s encouraging that we are getting on board with the new demand for garden art in UK. I would be interested if you were selling pieces.

    • Nick said:

      Hi Lorna, yes garden art has long been popular in the US, but is only just gaining traction over here. We are thinking of sourcing some pieces for sale over the winter, so check back to see if we have anything!

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