Nick Bailey inpires you to get arty in the garden
Let your inner artist loose and create a masterpiece on your plot
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.
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