driftwood dragon created by James Doran Webb

Chelsea garden sculpture

Gardens and homes, however minimalist need a little ornament, decoration or sculpture as the icing on the cake. Whether it’s a piece of art to adorn a wall (indoors or out), a birdbath, or even your own take on a garden gnome, garden art is very personal and extremely varied.

cloud pruned olive tree
A cloud pruned olive tree takes centre stage on the Royal Bank of Canada Garden. Image: Jean Vernon.

But not all garden sculpture is obvious. Sometimes a specimen tree can form a statuesque form within the garden. On the Royal Bank of Canada Garden (MA13) a cloud pruned olive tree takes centre stage. Its neatly clipped clusters of foliage cushion the branch ends and adorn the gnarled woody trunk with perfect balance, symmetry and style. This is a living sculpture that could be recreated in your garden with a more modest clipped box topiary.

A potted plant can be a feature in its own right. But so can the pot. At Pots of Pithoi (SR1) you can see the beauty of a single pot, used as an ornament, bare but elegant in its simplicity. By grouping several pots of the same material and hue, such as the earthy clays, some planted, some not, you can create a mix of textures and a corner feature for the patio or garden.

bulb markers
Bird Bulb Markers from crocus.co.uk. Image: Jean Vernon

If you only have garden pots and planters, then bring them alive with a plant stake or bulb marker. Crocus.co.uk (PW12) has a selection of simple and more elaborate markers for beds, borders and planters. These little Bird Bulb Markers cost £3.99.

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet bronze
Winnie the Pooh and Piglet bronze from Robert James. Image: Jean Vernon

Relive some childhood stories with the exquisite range of hot and cold cast Literary Bronze Sculptures from Robert James (SR41). There’s a delightful choice of Alice in Wonderland characters as well as Winnie the Pooh and Piglet too in limited editions to adorn your home and fill your heart with joy. Miniatures in cold cast bronze resin start from £135.

Chelsea wouldn’t be Chelsea without some flamboyance and drama and for me the star of this year’s show has to be the imposing driftwood dragon created by James Doran Webb. Wyvern’s Folly includes the 4-ton limestone gazebo supporting this 800kg sculpture. She’s resting atop just outside the Grand Pavilion and if this leading lady is vegetarian, heaven help the nurserymen exhibiting inside. Lunch is looking extremely pretty, lush and delicious and the menu has been meticulously labeled for her delectation. You have been warned. If you fancy taking home this magnificent dragon and gazebo it will set you back in the region of £200,000.

driftwood dragon created by James Doran Webb
Driftwood dragon created by James Doran Webb. Image: Jean Vernon

Have you tried?

Have you read?