Nick Bai­ley in­pires you to get arty in the gar­den

Let your in­ner artist loose and cre­ate a mas­ter­piece on your plot

Garden News (UK) - - Garden News -

For me, gar­dens are about three things: plants, plants and plants. Ev­ery­thing else is ei­ther func­tional – paths, fences, hedges, pa­tios and per­go­las – or set dress­ing, com­pris­ing sculp­tures, wa­ter fea­tures and dec­o­ra­tion. But these non-planty bits of the gar­den can be de­vel­oped and ma­nip­u­lated to add an­other layer of cre­ativ­ity to your plot.

And you don’t have to be the next Turner, Michelan­gelo or Hirst to add a lit­tle art to your gar­den. There are lots of easy ways to en­hance your out­door walls, fences and sheds. Here are a few ideas to try...


The prospect of adding a mu­ral to a wall might feel be­yond your artis­tic bounds, but there are ways to cheat a bit and so be able to cre­ate some­thing spec­tac­u­lar.

Start by find­ing a rel­a­tively sim­ple im­age you like. The bolder the bet­ter!

Next, as dusk falls, project the im­age us­ing an old slide pro­jec­tor, an over­head pro­jec­tor or a dig­i­tal pro­jec­tor on to your wall or fence. Then pen­cil in the lines of the pro­jected draw­ing. A car­pen­ter’s pen­cil is ideal for this. With the out­line com­plete you’ll just need to wait for a sunny day to paint in the de­tails. Keep it sim­ple and buy sam­ple pots of out­door paint to keep your costs down.

If you can’t do this your­self, you could com­mis­sion a lo­cal artist to paint a mu­ral for you? I’ve just com­mis­sioned some­one to paint what’s likely to be a mix of fan­tasy flow­ers and pea­cock feath­ers onto my gar­den of­fice. Check lo­cal pa­pers, no­tice boards, col­leges and on­line for mu­ral artists – they may not be as ex­pen­sive as you might think.


The eas­i­est, fastest and cheap­est way to add art to your walls and fences is with a sten­cil. Use a pho­to­copier or scan­ner to en­large your cho­sen im­age or pat­tern un­til it’s the scale you want. You’ll likely need to tape to­gether sev­eral sheets of pa­per to do this. Then, us­ing am­ple quan­ti­ties of glue stick, at­tach your im­age to a sheet of heavy card (ide­ally around 200-250gsm).

Next, us­ing a sharp craft knife, cut the key lines of the im­age. Fi­nally, gaffer tape the im­age to the wall or fence and use spray paint to cre­ate the art.

Colour pan­els

I tried this in a gar­den I made in Kent and it’s easy. Pick a key colour in the gar­den – such as a prom­i­nent pot, per­gola or other fea­ture – and paint a patch of that colour onto a wall or fence. I can’t claim the coloured square or rec­tan­gle is art in its own right, but it makes a great back­drop for other ob­jects such as mir­rors, metal wall art and resin sculp­tures, which can be mounted on it.

These yel­low pan­els re­ally pick out the plant colour in front


Award-win­ning de­signer, TV broad­caster and best-sell­ing au­thor The in­spi­ra­tional

Treat your fence or wall to a mu­ral for year-round colour

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