Archive | Art and Sculpture

for gardeners interested in art. Sculpture to enhance the garden

Long and Short Gardens

Begonias look best in groups or where they are given the opportunity to demonstrate their colourful dexterity. (Most of my photos are produced uncropped but in this case I done some editing).

Honeysuckle tends to ramble upward and is not easy to do it justice with a photograph. Here are two attempts.

Long vistas benefit from repetition of planting. These dwarf rhododendrons and primula denticula make the point

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Public Green Spaces in Britain’s Floral Resort

As befits a town with the sobriquet ‘Britain’s Floral Resort’ Harrogate is again a picture of vibrant colour in most of its green public spaces. Despite the crown (hotel and garden bed above ) it can not be called Royal Harrogate nor can it usurp Britain’s Floral Resort for it’s exclusive use.

Blood red features strongly at the beginning of August in the Brexit era of 2019. Back in the day 2003/4 Harrogate won a gold medal in the Flowery Alliance of Europe horticultural competition  for excellence in horticultural display. I wonder if that was a bloodless coup?

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Looking for the Unusual

Visual nature can be found all around in your garden, local park or field. Keep a look out for interesting or unusual shapes, patterns and textures and take a camera around with you. I like the contorted Hazel branches that weave their own pattern.

This log in parkland had an amazing pattern created by the symmetry of the old bark. The teeth shapes remind me of cogs on a rustic wheel. Continue Reading →

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Delphiniums Plural

Stately and statuesque, the blue Delphinium is one of the best tall features in a herbaceous border. I questioned my English teacher whether they should be called Delphinii as there always seemed to be several upright stalks like the chunky dark blue examples above. As regular readers will know spelling is not one of my greatest strengths.(nor is grammar).


The keen eyed will spot one of the secret ways of helping these 6 feet high giants stay upright. At Newby Hall garden a great deal of time and effort is expended on good quality staking and support and delphiniums are no exception. There is 3″ square mesh of fine filament placed at about 3′ high and the flower stems allowed to grom through. There is no need to support individual blooms.

There are many shades of blue from the dark almost purple to powder blue and even white.

Slightly gone over these flowers were displayed in a white border. Delphiniums have been a minor success in my flower vases this year and I will try again next year after feeding and water the plants extra sustinence.

Varieties courtesy of Old Farmers Almanac

  • Belladonna Group: Upright, loose and branching perennials with single flowers that grow 3 to 4 feet tall. ‘Blue Bees’ is a Belladonna producing clear blue flowers with white centers.
  • Elatum Group: These are the tallest spiked hybrids growing to 6 feet or more. ‘Blue Nile’ is a medium plant bearing semi-double, bright, and mid-blue flowers with white centers (called bees). ‘Bruce’ is a tall Elatum bearing semi-double, violet-purple flowers, paler towards the center, with brown bees.
  • Pacific Hybrids: Similar to Elatum Group, although not as tall, this hybrid is short-lived and often grown as annuals or biennials. ‘King Arthur’ bears plum flowers with white bees with 5- to 6-foot tall flower spikes.
  • According to the RHS Delphinium x ruysii  ‘Pink Sensation’ is a short-lived perennial with deeply divided leaves and slender spikes.
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Lions or Griffins Sculpted in your Garden

high trees 131

I saw this lion at our local garden centre. He was guarding the entrance and looked the ferocious part. But there aere more interesting sculpture displays this summer 2019 in some bigger garden spaces. The Yorkshire sculpture park has a Damien Hirst outdoor sculpture at their current exhibition and Kew Garden is featuring Dale Cilhuli glass sculptures. Newby Hall in North Yorkshire has contemporary sculpture which showcases the best of British in a woodland setting.

Stone Sculpture Pros and Cons

  • Natural stone looks good in the right place. It creates a better effect when local stone is used
  • Stone looks good in the right place. It creates a better effect when local stone is used. Aim to achieve a material that is sympathetic to the area.
  • Reconstituted stone looks good in the show room and for several seasons. For some reason it weathers more rapidly or looks less crisp a couple of winters later.
  • Good stone that has been well carved can be very expensive
  • Stone is heavy and not easy to move around or steal.
  • Sculptures without natural sunlight get more moss and lichen than well lit well located sculptures.
  • Good sculpture can provide both a talking point and a feature or focal point in your garden design.

Sculpture Comments

  • Large scale sculptures work best in larger gardens. It is worth balancing scale as too small a sculpture can get lost from view.
  • White or light stone sculptures should be set against a dark background
  • Small sculptures can be mounted on a plinth for greater effect.
  • Sculptures work well in pairs. Natural items work best in odd numbers
  • Old and valuable stone items should be insured, bolted down or alarmed. Thieves will steal anything!
  • A resin and composite stone sculpture like that below will cost significantly less than a stone sculpture.
  • Cheaper sculptures tend to lose the sharpness of carving or molding.

Gargoyle

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