Make magic with mosaics
Add zest to your garden with unique works of art created by yourself
LATE winter can be a cold, wet time in the Western Cape. We have to rethink our approach to colour in new-style water smart gardens, where borders are no longer filled with the masses of water-consuming annuals and bulbs that have always been the providers of seasonal colour.
“South African landscapers are finding innovative ways to brighten up low-water usage gardens by including mosaic work in their garden designs,” says landscape expert Beverley Ballard-Tremeer.
“The use of mosaics is a clever way to add permanent colour to a garden. It works particularly well with low-maintenance gardens, where one simply does not want to spend a lot of time pampering plants to encourage prolific blooming.”
As modern urban gardens are typically surrounded by walls, it makes sense to use the walls as a backdrop for displays of mosaic work. This also helps to break up a bare expanse of wall that can otherwise be rather dominating.
Painting walls in deep tones of grey can help them recede into the background, leaving the mosaics to stand out clearly.
Other possibilities are using dazzling mosaic along the edges of a constructed water feature, to adorn containers, or on a simple geometric shape that can serve as a focal point in the garden.
Choose colours for a mosaic feature bearing in mind the overall design style and colour scheme of your garden.
While any bright colour will look good in a garden composed mainly of greenery, or a tropical garden with brilliant blooms, particular shades may suit certain garden styles more than others.
For example, the “hot” colours of red, orange and deep yellow work well with an indigenous garden whereas magenta pink and purple would complement a Moroccaninspired design.
Bright blue works well with most Mediterranean gardens, while a mosaic made of mirror tiles is perfect for contemporary design.
Mosaic is available in easy-toapply sheets, making a simple edging of mosaic or covering a cubeshaped container an easy task.
Putting a multi-colour design on a wall or container is more complex.
A sketch must be made on the wall, or a reproduction of a picture attached to the wall, with a clear guide to the colours needed.
Then individual mosaic pieces are attached to the wall with adhesive. Lastly, grouting is applied.
SPELLBINDING: A simple geometric shape ornamented with bright mosaics enhances a garden at any time of the year.
BRIGHT AND CHEERFUL. Colourful mosaics demonstrate how garden art enhances a water feature patio decorated in orange, red and gold.
BRIGHT BALL: Magenta and cobalt blue mosaic work add vibrant colour to a water-wise Moroccan garden.